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Connecticut Advocates, Lawmakers Condemn SCOTUS Birth Control Ruling

Stephanie Hicks
Flickr Creative Commons

State officials came together in Hartford Wednesday to assure Connecticut residents that they will fight for women’s reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to roll back access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. Under the ruling, an employer or university can deny birth control coverage based on a religious or moral objection. 

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Gretchen Raffa of Planned Parenthood Southern New England called the ruling an attack on health care that comes as the nation faces a public health crisis. 

“People need more access to health care, not less,” said Raffa. “It’s deeply concerning that in the year 2020 this is still up for debate. Birth control is not controversial. Nine out of 10 women in the United States have used birth control in their lifetime. COVID-19 is pushing our health care system and economy beyond their limits.” 

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz said the federal government estimates between 70,500 and 126,000 women would immediately lose access to no-cost contraception services under this exemption. 

“We believe that an employer’s personal beliefs and opinions should never interfere with a woman’s own personal health care decision, and we believe this interpretation of the Supreme Court discriminates against women by denying them equal access to preventable care under the Affordable Care Act,” said Bysiewicz.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said the ruling will exacerbate systemic racism at a time when many minority women have been hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“This medical care is time-sensitive, it’s critical to women having control over their bodies, their futures, their families,” said Blumenthal. “Its effect will be far-reaching.”

Blumenthal said he will introduce legislation called the Protect Access to Birth Control Act to override the ruling. He is the leading co-sponsor of the bill. 

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