Monday, June 30, 2014

Statement from Carole Brite President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois on "Hobby Lobby" Ruling

U.S. Supreme Court Hobby Lobby & Conestoga Woods Ruling

Chicago  — (Date) All women deserve the right to the health care they need. We know first-hand how important it is for women to receive the method of birth control that works for them without hurdles or barriers.  That’s why Planned Parenthood fought so hard for the birth control benefit in the first place and why we’re focused on making sure that women have access to the method of birth control that’s best for them, without cost or other hurdles standing in the way.

Today American families were served a severe blow to their right to family planning when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods even though they did stipulate that the holding is limited to small “closely-held” corporations. The corporations in this lawsuit hold an extreme view, and unfortunately there are some politicians who want to go even farther — getting rid of the birth control benefit entirely. Bosses of private, for-profit businesses should not be able to interfere in women's health decisions, and neither should the politicians who want to roll back the birth control benefit entirely, taking away insurance coverage that millions of women benefit from.

Although the Supreme Court ruled in favor of these corporations, we applaud the Illinois General Assembly for having the foresight to pass the Birth Control Referendum. We are fortunate to live in a state that protects women’s rights to contraceptives. This referendum will help protect and strengthen the law we already have in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The non-binding referendum will appear on the November ballot as this question:

Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control as part of that coverage?

Planned Parenthood of Illinois believes that preventive care, including birth control, is basic healthcare for women.  Virtually all American women between the ages of 15 and 44 who are sexually active have used birth control at some time. Regardless of the size of the corporation, we will not let this ruling deter us from continuing to provide essential healthcare services to the more than 60,000 women, men, and teens across Illinois that entrust their basic health care rights to us — however small or large the corporation they work for.

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