RCRC Applauds Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Law, Urges Religious Communities to Continue to Support Reform and Obama Compromise on Contraception Coverage
Statement of Rev. Dr. Alethea Smith-Withers, Chair of the RCRC Board of Directors
June 28, 2012
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice applauds the U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act and its historic and life-saving advances in women’s preventive health care. As people of faith committed to reproductive justice, we see this as an affirmation of our continuing struggle to expand access to reproductive health care and a victory over a health insurance system that is a moral disgrace. This decision opens wide the doors to a more compassionate and just society.
We are prayerfully grateful that women can begin to achieve health equity for the first time.
However, we remain concerned about Congressional efforts to repeal all or most of the law and the Roman Catholic hierarchy’s lawsuits challenging birth control coverage.
Hundreds of clergy, religious leaders and people of faith in the RCRC network have contacted President Obama and their elected representatives to support the law and to urge them to resist the Catholic bishops’ pressure to remove the birth control provision. RCRC will continue to mobilize the enormous religious support for the Affordable Care Act and full coverage of contraception and other women's health measures as a matter of social justice and sound public health policy.
As of August 1, contraception will be covered at no additional cost, true progress in closing the gender gap that has contributed to higher health costs for women. The Catholic bishops have rejected the Obama Administration’s reasonable compromise on coverage for contraception and have vowed to stop at nothing to block the ability of women and families to access contraception.
The overhaul of the health insurance system is a step forward in building a society that is inclusive, treats all people with dignity and affirms our responsibility to care for each other. It is our hope that the Administration will now reconsider the present inadequate policy on covering abortion services; access to abortion is an important part of women’s life-long reproductive health care.
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is the national coalition of denominations and religiously affiliated organizations committed to women’s reproductive health care and reproductive justice for all. Members include the Episcopal Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, Women’s Division of United Methodist Church, United Church of Christ, Unitarian Universalist Association, and Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist Judaism.