Press Release: Access Denied: Supreme Court Turns a Blind Eye to Women’s Health Care Needs

For Immediate Release: June 30, 2014

Rachel Cooke // 202.419.3420 x45 rachel@advocatesforyouth.org

Once again the Supreme Court turned its back on the health care needs of women, especially young women and low-income women. In a split decision, the Supreme Court put at jeopardy women’s access to contraception. Today’s ruling allows some privately owned, for-profit corporations to exploit our country’s tradition of religious freedom and dictate the health coverage of their employees. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Woods Products challenged the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage requirement, alleging that it violates their companies’ religious rights, all the while disregarding their employee’s religious freedom and right to privacy and basic health services.

“Today’s ruling sanctioned an insidious appropriation of individual rights, establishing an expansive religious-right-of-corporations,” said Debra Hauser, president of Advocates for Youth.

“My peers and fellow activists are outraged with the Supreme Court today,” said Kirin Gupta, youth activists with Advocates for Youth. “We will not sit by to see our rights and access to basic health care denied.”

Without coverage, the cost of contraceptive can be prohibitive for women, particularly for low-income and young women coverage using long-term methods, such as IUDs, which are 45 times more effective than oral contraceptives and 90 times more effective than condoms.

While this ruling does not strike down the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit, it puts at risk and provides no recourse for those women work do work for employers who disregard their rights and basic health care needs.


Advocates for Youth is a national nonprofit that champions programs and advocates for policies that help young people make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health. Advocates’ Youth Activist Network stands 75,000 strong on 1,000 campuses and in tens of thousands of communities.