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The National Association of Social Workers Supports Women’s Access to Birth Control

National Association of Social Workers Senior Field Organizer Dina Kastner (left) and Senior Practice Associate Rita Webb at the U.S. Supreme Court event on March 23 to push for women's right to birth control in their health care coverage.

National Association of Social Workers Senior Field Organizer Dina Kastner (left) and Senior Practice Associate Rita Webb at the U.S. Supreme Court event on March 23 to push for women’s right to birth control in their health care coverage.

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) has joined in filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case, Zubik v. Burwell, to support the right of all employees to access health care without discrimination, even while accommodating their employer’s religious beliefs.

The U.S. Supreme Court today reviewed challenges to the “accommodation” of the ACA’s birth control benefit. At stake is whether employers can use their religious beliefs to make it more difficult for women to access essential birth control coverage, and by extension, potentially discriminate against other groups.

NASW and other organizations participated in a Twitter rally and a presence at the court today. Several members of Congress addressed the group including Reps. Diana DeGette (D-CO-1), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY-12), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Mike Quigley (D-IL-5), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD-8). They expressed their support for a woman’s right to birth control.

NASW promotes self-determination and this court case speaks to the need to protect an individual’s right to make choices for their own reproductive health.

For more information on this issue contact NASW Senior Field Organizer Dina Kastner at dkastner@naswdc.org.

5 comments

  1. “At stake is whether employers can use their religious beliefs to make it more difficult for women to access essential birth control coverage, and by extension, potentially discriminate against other groups.”

    Acutually, at stake is the religious freedom to exercise religious beliefs in the purchasing of selected benefits in employer-sponsored health plans. No where in the cases cited on the link, can I find mention of “potential discrimination against other groups”. The brief cites the cost burden of certain types of birth control and the impact of this cost on the poor, but does not cite any existing or potential resources for discounted birth control that can be obtained outside of an insurance policy.

    It is my hope the Supreme Court will side on the rights of religious freedom, versus government intrusion into private and faith-based industry.

  2. The imposition of one’s religious beliefs disguised as ‘religious freedom’ on others is not a right. As for the potential for further discrimination it is already happening in red States where women have no access to reproductive medical care.And this thinnly disguised religious fascism is being used to discriminate against anyone whose lifestyle offends the sensitive sensibilities of some one who claims they are a Christian such as in Mississippi, N.Carolina,Tennessee, so for example if it offends one’s religious ‘freedom’ that an interracial couple walks into an establishment, they can refuse them service, et cetera. Imposing one’s religious freedom has mote

    • “No access to reproductive medical care”? Are there no public health services in the states listed? Are there no faith-based clinics that offer free or discounted medical care that will help women with birth control?

      Or, are you defining “no access” as a lack of health care insurance, of which’s purchase is federally mandated?

      The Little Sisters of the Poor are not imposing their religious beliefs on anyone, they are exercising their beliefs. In their view, being forced by the government to pay for birth control is the equivalent of murdering unborn children. If a woman who is employed by them wants company-paid birth control in their insurance plan, she may choose to work for another company that offers this benefit. This is the case argued before the Supreme Court.

  3. I have not heard of anyone in Mississippi, North Carolina, and Tennessee refusing service to an interracial couple. I don’t think any religious people care if people of different races choose to be a couple. Religious people are not fascists. They try to live moral lives and to teach their children morality; no one is perfect. I have counseled Catholic men who have refused or stopped having sex with their non-Catholic girlfriend due to the belief that out-of-wedlock sex is a sin. Women can choose not to date a Catholic man or to not work for a Catholic institution.

  4. The Supreme Court has refused to rule on the seven consolodated cases in question here. The Court referred to the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (signed by President Clinton) that the Court overturned, citing the issue belonged to the states. Here again, the Court is turning these cases back to their respective states.

    It’s interesting to note that health insurers currently cannot operate across state lines and are restricted to their own states…..the religious freedom to choose not to purchase birth control benefits for one’s employees will now be determined by the states.

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