A pack of birth control pills in this illustration picture taken in Philadelphia on July 11, 2022. (Hannah Beier/Illustration/Reuters)
The Biden administration warned Thursday businesses and insurance companies that limiting contraceptive coverage after a Supreme Court decision that upheld Roe v. Wade would be against federal law.
The Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance clarifying the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which requires that insurance plans provide family planning counseling and free birth control to all insured persons and their dependents.
HHS was joined by the Department of Labor in stating that it had seen an increase of complaints from women who were denied coverage for various forms of birth control after the Supreme Court’s June decision.
“It’s vital that birth control be available nationwide, and that insurers and employers follow the law to provide coverage without additional costs,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra stated in a statement.
The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade’s landmark 1973 ruling last month, which allowed abortion to be legalized in this country.
As a consequence of this ruling, approximately half the states of America have either limited or banned abortions or expect to do so. Some may even try to limit access to birth control.
HHS issued guidance on Thursday stating that insurance companies must provide coverage even if contraceptives are banned in their states.
The Supreme Court in 1965 ruled that married couples are entitled to purchase and use contraceptives under the Constitution. It also extended this right to non-married persons in a 1972 ruling.
But, conservative Justice Clarence Thomas stated in an concurring opinion last month in which he suggested that Roe v. Wade’s court reasoning could be applied to birth control.
HHS on Thursday said that in 2020, 58 million U.S. women benefited from Obamacare’s contraception coverage mandate.