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The Supreme Court and Contraceptive Coverage: Legal and Policy Implications – Briefing and Panel Discussion

On Tuesday, March 11, two weeks before the hearings, Kaiser Family Foundation hosted a public briefing and panel discussion to discuss two upcoming Supreme Court cases brought forth by for-profit corporations that challenge the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to cover contraceptives, and the implications these rulings have for the ACA, corporate and individual religious protections, and civil rights.

All Eyes on the Supreme Court: More than Birth Control at Stake

On March 25th, the Supreme Court will hear two cases brought by for-profit corporations challenging the ACA’s contraceptive coverage rule on religious grounds. These two corporations are Hobby Lobby, a national chain of craft stores owned by a Christian family and Conestoga Wood Specialties, a cabinet manufacturer, owned by a Mennonite family. Beyond the impact on the ACA and contraceptive coverage, the Court’s decision may have implications for religious rights of employers and employees, as well as corporate and civil rights laws. This brief examines three fundamental questions raised by some of the 84 amicus briefs that have been submitted to the Court.

A Guide to the Supreme Court’s Review of the Contraceptive Coverage Requirement

This issue brief dissects the issues raised by the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that private insurance plans include contraception as part of their coverage of preventive services for women. Over 40 for-profit corporations and over 40 nonprofit corporations have filed lawsuits claiming that the requirement to provide their employees with contraceptives violates their religious rights. On November 26, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to hear two cases filed by for-profit corporations, Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties, that claim that this requirement violates their religious rights. At the crux of these cases is a question that the Supreme Court has not previously addressed: Do for-profit corporations have religious protections under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the First Amendment? The brief provides background on how the ACA’s contraceptive requirement works, summarizes some of the legal challenges brought by for-profit and non-profit organizations and discusses the implications of potential rulings by the Supreme Court.

Insurance Coverage of Contraceptives

In this post, we answer some of the key questions about the new contraceptive coverage policy generally, and more specifically, how it will be applied to religious organizations.

Health Coverage and Expenses: Impact on Older Women’s Economic Well-Being

In this article in the Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, researchers from the Kaiser Family Foundation examine how health issues that women face over the course of their lives, as well as policies that shape Medicare, Medicaid and other supplemental coverage, can affect retired women’s economic well-being. They found that…

1 Year Later: Medical Abortion After FDA Approval

On September 28, 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved mifepristone (RU486), the first dedicated medical abortion pill regimen. Many advocates on both sides of the abortion debate predicted that arrival of this new option would transform the abortion landscape – for women, for doctors, and for politicians. So,…

Women at Risk: A View from the Safety Net

This video provides a snapshot of the Arlington (Va.) Free Clinic where, four times a month, medical personnel provide care and screenings exclusively to women. The video explores the hurdles that uninsured women face in accessing health care and the social issues, including work and family responsibilities, that create challenges…

Examining Racial and Ethnic Disparities Among Women at the State Level

A decade after U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher called for the elimination of racial disparities in health, women of color in every state continue to fare worse than white women on a variety of measures of health and health care access. The Foundation has created a package of resources, including…

Ensuring the Health Care Needs of Women: A Checklist for Health Exchanges

To inform the development of the state health insurance Exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, this checklist identifies key coverage, affordability and access issues that are important for women. Based on lessons learned from women’s health research and the Massachusetts experience, the checklist considers essential health benefits, implementation of no-cost preventive services including contraception, provider networks and affordability, outreach and enrollment efforts, and the importance of including gender and other demographic characteristics in data collection and reporting standards.

A Report on Women and HIV/AIDS In the U.S.

This report maps the trajectory of the HIV/AIDS epidemic among women in the United States (U.S.), including the following: key historical epidemiological trends and the important role played by women in the response over time; the current impact of HIV among women in the U.S., including a profile of those…