March 2020 Church & State | AU Bulletin

The U.S. Supreme Court announced in January that it will hear a new case concerning access to contraceptives.

The lawsuit, brought by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, challenges rules issued by the Trump administration that allow virtually any employer or university to cite religious or moral beliefs as a justification to deny employees or students access to birth control.

Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, urged the high court to uphold contraceptive access.

“The Supreme Court should affirm that it is unconstitutional for the Trump administration to misuse religious freedom to block employees’ and students’ access to birth control,” Laser said. “As a reminder, the Affordable Care Act guarantees employees and students the right to contraceptive coverage. The religious beliefs of their bosses and university officials cannot deny them this right. That’s what church-state separation guarantees, and that’s what we’ll continue to fight for in court.”

Brigitte Amiri, deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, agreed: “Allowing employers and universities to use their religious beliefs to block employees’ and students’ birth control cov­erage isn’t religious liberty, it’s discrimination,” Amiri said.

The high court will hear the suit, Trump v. Pennsylvania, this term, with a decision expected by the end of June.