The Supreme Court's Obamacare Ruling Was The First Reproductive Rights Victory We've Seen In A While
Finally, we have some good news about the state of reproductive rights in America. Liberals were thrilled that the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare subsidies Thursday, allowing millions of Americans to keep their affordable health care. The decision didn't only affect insurance prices though — SCOTUS' Obamacare ruling was a huge reproductive rights victory. More than four million women were able to keep their subsidized health plans, which include low-cost birth control, maternity and prenatal care, and cancer screenings. Obviously, women's rights activists are jumping for joy (figuratively, and probably literally).
Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women were often charged more for health coverage than men and had to pay out-of-pocket for preventatives services like pap smears and breast exams, according to a new policy note by the Roosevelt Institute. There were also millions more women without access to affordable birth control pre-ACA. The number of women who filled a birth control prescription in 2013 increased from 1.3 million to 5.1 million and the percentage of women with access to no-cost birth control jumped from 14 percent to 56 percent, according to the Roosevelt Institute paper. Not being charged more for health insurance because of reproductive health expenses and having plans that cover birth control are really important aspects of reproductive rights that SCOTUS' decision protected.
Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center, said in a statement sent to Bustle:
This decision means the Affordable Care Act will continue to help millions of women and their families afford health insurance and will help many more in the years to come. The law has made significant strides for women by prohibiting insurance practices that discriminate against women and requiring that women have coverage for critical services like mammograms, maternity care, and birth control. The bottom line is that the ACA has made a profound difference in millions of people’s lives, and the Supreme Court has ensured that this landmark law will continue to deliver more and better health care for even more women and their families in the future.
The Obamacare ruling affected the poorest women the most, allowing them to keep their subsidized health plans, but it was really a victory for all women. Essentially, the ACA established that women's reproductive health services are crucial and we shouldn't be penalized because of them. SCOTUS' decision Thursday confirmed this.
Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement to Bustle:
Today’s ruling is a victory for millions of low- and middle-income women and families, who can now rest assured that their affordable health coverage will not be stripped away... Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, more women than ever have access to high-quality affordable health care and coverage for the full range of reproductive health services, including birth control, maternity and prenatal care, mammograms, and other critical preventive health care without a copay — and they’re not willing to go back.
Needless to say, reproductive rights activists and women across the country were overjoyed by the ruling. NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina tweeted: "We <3 #Mammograms & #BirthControl w/out deductibles or co-pays under #Obamacare. #ACA UPHELD!" Enjoy the affordable reproductive health care ladies, you deserve it.