IDP Statement on Hobby Lobby Case

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Des Moines – As the Supreme Court rules today on the Hobby Lobby case, Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Christina Freundlich released the following statement:

“No woman should have her access to affordable birth control cut off because of her boss’ opinion.  Yet that’s what state Sen. Joni Ernst supports, along with a constitutional “Personhood” amendment that would ban some common forms of birth control entirely and outlaw a woman’s right to choose even in the event of rape, incest, or to save the life of a mother.  This includes keeping a woman with a life-threatening pregnancy from getting the care she needs and criminalizing common forms of birth control that help them stay healthy and plan for their families – it even blocks preventative care that reduces the risk of cancer and osteoporosis.

“Time and again, state Sen. Joni Ernst wants to put her extreme ideology before the rights of Iowa women to make their own medical decisions with their doctor. That’s not fair and not what Iowa women deserve.”

BACKGROUND:

Ernst Supports Exceptions To ACA’s Birth Control Mandate

Ernst Cosponsored Legislation Providing Religious Conscience Protections For Employers Against The Affordable Care Act’s Contraception Mandate. In February 2014, Ernst cosponsored a bill for an act establishing religious conscience protections for employers regarding the provision of health insurance or benefit coverages that include abortion and certain contraceptive services. [Senate File 2153, 2/11/14]

Personhood Amendment Supported By Ernst Prohibits Certain Forms Of Contraception

Ernst Supported Fetal “Personhood” Amendment Which Could Prohibit In-Vitro Fertilization And Some Methods Of Contraception.  In April 2013, The Des Moines Register wrote “Twenty-one members of the Iowa Senate filed a resolution Thursday proposing a fetal ‘personhood’ amendment to the Iowa Constitution which would give human embryos a right to life beginning at conception.” The Register continued, “A similar amendment failed in Mississippi in 2011 and in Colorado in 2008 and 2010. Opponents of the North Dakota amendment have called it an intrusion on women’s private medical decisions, adding it could prohibit in-vitro fertilization and some methods of contraception. [Des Moines Register, 4/15/13]

High Costs Are One Of The “Primary Barriers” To Contraceptives

CAP: “High Costs Are One Of The Primary Barriers To Contraceptive Access.” In February 2012, The Center For American Progress wrote: “Many people seem to think birth control is affordable, but high costs are one of the primary barriers to contraceptive access … Although three-quarters of American women of childbearing age have private insurance, they still have had to pay a significant portion of contraceptive costs on their own.

 

-   A recent study shows that women with private insurance paid about 50 percent of the total costs for oral contraceptives, even though the typical out-of-pocket cost of non-contraceptive drugs is only 33 percent.

 

-   In some cases oral contraceptives approach 29 percent of out-of-pocket spending on health care for women with private insurance.

 

-   Women of reproductive age spend 68 percent more on out-of-pocket health care costs than do men, in part because of contraceptive costs” [Center For American Progress, 2/15/12]

National Institute For Reproductive Health: High Cost Represents A “Substantial Barrier” To Contraception For Many Women. In March 2014, The National Institute For Reproductive Health wrote: “Unfortunately, many women face substantial barriers to accessing contraception. Barriers include lack of insurance, high cost, and pharmacy refusal. Low-income women disproportionately face barriers to accessing contraception and compose the majority of women seeking care at Title X clinics. They are four times as likely to have an unintended pregnancy and more than four times as likely to have an abortion as their higher-income counterparts.” [National Institute For Reproductive Health, 3/24/14]

Contraceptives Are Used To Reduce The Risk Of Cancer And May Protect Against Osteoporosis. In August 2008, The New York Times reported, “Hormonal contraceptive methods use manufactured estrogen and progestin in different combinations and deliver them in a variety of ways — through pills, shots, skin patches, implants, IUDs and vaginal rings. Studies have shown that all those methods reduce the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. Some may also help protect against osteoporosis.” [New York Times, 8/1/08]

 

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