SHAHEEN BACKS LEGISLATION TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE AFTER HOBBY LOBBY DECISION

Legislation would keep health care options between women and their doctors, not women and their employers

July 09, 2014

(Washington, DC) – In response to last week’s Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) will be joining a coalition of Senators today to introduce legislation that would protect women’s health care from employer interference. The legislation, the Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, would help ensure that no employer who provides group health insurance coverage to its employees can deny any specific health benefits, including contraception coverage, to employees or their dependents.

“Women, not their employers, should be in charge of decisions about their own health care,” Shaheen said. “We need to act now to make sure employers aren’t selectively denying health care to their employees. Women must have the access to the health coverage and benefits, including contraception coverage, they have been guaranteed under federal law.”

The Protect Women’s Health from Corporate Interference Act of 2014, introduced by U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Mark Udall (D-CO) and co-sponsored by Shaheen, would amend the Public Health Service Act to prevent employers from denying their employees or their employees’ dependents health coverage that is guaranteed to them under existing law. Under the legislation, employers, regardless of religious affiliation would not be allowed to deny their employees contraceptive coverage or any other specific health care item or service. The law also maintains the existing exemption for houses of worship and religious non-profits.