US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Harkin: Allowing Private Employers to Limit Personal Health Care Decisions for Employees Would Set a Dangerous Precedent

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement today as oral arguments began at the Supreme Court in the cases of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius. On the basis of the religious views of their owners, both corporations oppose giving women the freedom to access the contraceptive benefits provided under the Affordable Care Act. 

“Providing consumers with access to preventive care services, with no cost-sharing, empowers them to make their own health care decisions. This is equally true for providing women with access to birth control, because a woman’s personal decision about contraception should be hers and hers alone,” Harkin said.  “Allowing private, for-profit employers to decide whether contraception will be made available under their insurance plan could set a truly dangerous precedent that would permit employers to interfere with or block any number of health procedures or treatments for their employees. All Americans, men and women alike, should have the freedom to make their own health care decisions—not corporate CEOs.”

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