Center for Reproductive Rights submits amicus brief to U.S. Supreme Court to defend access to contraception

Publish Date: 
Friday, January 31, 2014

On January 28th, the  to the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court to address recent legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act which has been promoted in the US in by the current administration in an effort to ensure access to health care.

Together with co-counsel Morrison & Foerster and Prof. Noah Novogrodsky of the University of Wyoming School of Law, CRR filed an amicus brief relating to two cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. The cases focus on claims by two for-profit corporations that argue that providing their employees with health care coverage for contraception (including emergency contraception) through employee health care plans would violate the religious beliefs of those corporations and their owners.

The brief argues that, in a global context, women’s access to affordable contraception has been consistently recognized as key to furthering a woman’s liberty, dignity, and equality. It further stresses that the balance between those rights and the right to conscientious objection in the health care context must give priority to women’s right to access health care.

CRR also emphasizes that the United States has rightfully cited the benefits of the Affordable Care Act as evidence of the nation’s compliance with its human rights treaty obligations and other global agreements on sustainable development, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).

The brief also demonstrates that courts and statutes around the globe have recognized that individual religious or conscience rights do not apply to institutions or businesses.   

See the full brief below.