Washington, D.C. — In response to the Obama administration’s decision today to stand strong behind the principle that all women deserve coverage for contraception with no co-pays or other cost sharing—regardless of where they work or attend school—Jessica Arons, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, and Sally Steenland, the Director of CAP’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative, issued the following statements:
Jessica Arons, Director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program:
This regulation ensures that millions of women will no longer face a cost barrier to accessing the contraception that they need. We look forward to working with the administration to ensure that all women have seamless coverage for contraception and that employers cannot discriminate against women and their health care needs.
Sally Steenland, Director of the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative:
This policy provides more than ample protection for the religious liberty concerns of religiously affiliated nonprofits that object to birth control. At the same time it safeguards the health and conscience of employees who use birth control.
Today’s proposed rule accomplishes three things: It reaffirms that family-planning services constitute essential preventive care; it relies on the Internal Revenue Service code to clarify that all houses of worship are exempt from the contraceptive-coverage requirement; and it provides an accommodation to religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations that object to contraception, making it clear that they will not have to contract, arrange, pay for, or refer contraceptive coverage.
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