University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
Title "The Union of Contraceptive Services and the Affordable Care Act Gives Birth to First Amendment Concerns"
Date 2013
Author Evelyn M. Tenenbaum
Author Institution Albany Law School
Author Role Faculty
External Link
Abstract In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Obama Administration attempted to deal with the underutilization of preventive services by requiring that some of these services be provided free of charge. In implementing the Act, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promulgated regulations requiring, inter alia, that well-woman visits, contraception, and domestic violence screening and
10 NATIONAL WOMEN'S LAW CENTER. Planned pregnancies - which for most women require contraception - improve women's health and their ability to have healthy pregnancies. The ability to determine the timing of a pregnancy can prevent a range of pregnancy complications that can endanger a woman's health, including gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and placental problems, among others.

Although the ACA's motivations for providing free preventive services are laudable, the provisions requiring that covered health plans include contraceptive services at no cost to insured women have spawned more than fifty lawsuits. Numerous entities-both not-for-profit and for-profit-claim that the government cannot compel them to violate their religious beliefs by funding these services. The federal courts have already made preliminary rulings in a number of lawsuits challenging the mandate, more lawsuits are expected, and it is likely that one of these cases will be heard and decided by the Supreme Court. The outcome of these lawsuits over whether employers must provide coverage for contraceptives in their health plans if they have a sincere religious objection will impact entities with religious affiliations, companies owned by individuals with strong
religious beliefs, and the many women who use contraceptive
Source Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech.
Citation 23 Alb. L.J. Sci. & Tech. 539-580

This Resource Relates To
case Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fort Worth v. Sebelius (FA-TX-0002)

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