Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments (by telephone) in an important case dealing with both reproductive and religious freedom.
The case, Trump v. Pennsylvania, challenges Trump administration rules that would allow employers and universities to use religion to deny workers and students access to birth control coverage. (Read more about it here.)
These rules are just one example of the Trump administration’s attempts to misuse religious freedom to deny reproductive health care to millions of people. Upholding this rule would mean that women, LGBTQ people, people of color and others already facing inequities in health care will be denied birth control simply because their company or university claims religious objections.
Particularly in the midst of a pandemic, our government should be protecting America’s workers and students, not putting them at risk and calling it religious freedom.
That’s why today at 3 p.m. EDT, thousands of activists from all over the country will join for a virtual rally to support Americans’ access to birth control. Americans United President and CEO Rachel Laser is among the speakers. (She’s expected to come on around 4 p.m.) Other speakers include storytellers, Supreme Court lawyers, movement leaders and members of Congress. Entertainment will be provided by DJ Hannah Bronfman. Follow AU on Twitter to stay engaged in what’s happening and tag us in your tweets and retweets.
Americans United is following this case closely since we have a similar legal challenge under way in Indiana. That lawsuit, Irish 4 Reproductive Health v. HHS, challenges both the administration’s birth control rules and the government’s illegal backdoor agreement with the University of Notre Dame to settle a previous lawsuit over birth control insurance coverage benefits. It is the only litigation challenging the collusive settlement agreement. The Trump administration tried to stop the lawsuit, but a federal court ruled in January that it may proceed.
When the high court announced it would hear the Trump v. Pennsylvania case, Laser explained what’s at stake in a statement to the media.
“As a reminder, the Affordable Care Act guarantees employees and students the right to contraceptive coverage,” Laser said. “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.”
Americans United will continue to fight for real religious freedom for all, representing people who are denied their rights by those who use religion to exclude, discriminate and coerce. Reproductive freedom is religious freedom.
We hope you can join us today to affirm your support for reproductive rights free from religious interference.
P.S. If you’re interested in listening to the Supreme Court argument tomorrow morning at 10 EDT, you can tune in here via C-SPAN.