(PRESS RELEASE) Expanded preventive and reproductive health services for women have been preserved with today's U.S. Supreme Court decision largely upholding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Two years ago, President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law and has since set forth rules that vastly expand women's access to copay-free preventive health care-including contraception, cancer screenings, HIV testing, well-woman visits, prenatal and post-partum care and counseling, and other essential services.
The act also stands to expand coverage for a number of other essential health care services and bars the denial of coverage for preexisting conditions, including those unique to women, such as pregnancy.
Said Nancy Northup, president and CEO at the Center for Reproductive Rights:
"Today's Supreme Court decision has secured the constitutional standing of a law that marks the greatest step forward for women's reproductive health in decades.
"The preventive benefits advanced by the law, including contraception, represent vital progress toward fulfillment of a fundamental right to affordable reproductive health care for all women. And by broadening access to affordable care, the law reinforces every woman's right to make her own decisions about her family, her future, and her reproductive health.
"Justice John Roberts's decision is a truly historic moment, evoking the landmark decisions of conservative Justice Owen Roberts 75 years ago upholding progressive legislation that helped to build a critical safety net and salvage the legitimacy of the U.S. Supreme Court in the process. Today's decision may well come to be regarded a second 'switch in time that saved nine.\'
"We will continue to work with those who support this advancement for women's health to ensure robust and far-reaching access to affordable, essential health care for all American women."