FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 8, 2020

Contact: Diana Philip, Executive Director, diana@prochoicemd.org

Isabel Blalock, Field Director, isabel@prochoicemd.org

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland responds to Supreme Court rulings in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania

Baltimore, MD — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today in Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, allowing employers and universities to opt-out of the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate on both religious and moral grounds. Previously employers were required to provide co-pay free contraception coverage. Now they are free to make decisions about their employees’ birth control.

The Court also ruled 7-2 in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, affirming and expanding the “ministerial exception.” This means employees at religious institutions are not protected by federal anti-discrimination laws and cannot contest their firings in federal court. One teacher sued based on age discrimination, and another after being fired after informing their employer of a cancer diagnosis.  All forms of discrimination will now be fair game, such as pregnancy or LGBTQ+ status.

Anti-choice activists continue to attack the fundamental right to reproductive justice, even when the public supports the contraception mandate.  Most voters (75%) consider birth control part of preventive care for women and 77% of women voters want to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA) birth control benefit.

NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland is extremely disappointed, though not surprised, by these rulings. Religious liberty should not give employers a license to freely discriminate against their staff; everyone has the right to work without facing discrimination.

Employers should not be allowed to dictate what medical treatment is appropriate for their employees. NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland will continue to fight for reproductive justice and to make reproductive health care accessible, available, and affordable for everyone who seeks it.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Diana Philip at diana@prochoicemd.org  or Isabel Blalock at isabel@prochoicemd.org

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