In full transparency, the following is a press release from Reproductive Equity Now
BOSTON _ Reproductive Equity Now President Rebecca Hart Holder released the following statement today after a judge in the Northern District Court of Texas ruled to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services provision through which 3.3 million Massachusetts residents on private insurance currently access no-cost coverage for preventive care.
This ruling will significantly impact people’s access to pregnancy-related and LGBTQ+ health care nationwide.
“Today’s ruling out of the Northern District Court of Texas to strike down the Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate is not only a crass attempt to strip millions of people of life-saving health care, but is yet another bigoted and homophobic attack on the bodily autonomy of women and LGBTQ+ people nationwide. With the judge’s decision, millions of people—especially Black, Brown, low-income, queer, and trans communities—could lose access to critical preventive care for preeclampsia; medication to reduce the risk of breast cancer; breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer screenings; STI screenings; gestational diabetes screenings; HIV screenings; PrEP; domestic violence screenings; interventions for perinatal and postpartum depression, among so many other preventive and life-saving treatments.
“The far-right has once again made it clear that it does not care about the lives or health of women, LGTBQ+, or other marginalized communities. The United States already has the worst maternal health outcomes of any developed country in the world. These continued, coordinated attacks on reproductive, pregnancy-related, and LGBTQ+ health care will only lead to more deaths and more devastation, especially for Black pregnant people who are bearing the brunt of the maternal health crisis.
“The preventive services provision is not only the most popular aspect of the Affordable Care Act, but helps remove cost barriers and encourages people to seek preventive care before facing more serious illness or disease. According to Morning Consult, at least 2 in 5 adults in our country said they would not pay out of pocket for 11 of 12 preventive services currently covered by the Affordable Care Act.
“The Massachusetts Legislature has stepped in before to protect contraceptive coverage when the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate was under threat, and it must do so again to mitigate cost barriers for all pregnancy-related care. The Legislature should move to pass An Act Ensuring Access to Full Spectrum Pregnancy Care, which would require state-regulated health insurance plans to cover all pregnancy care—including abortion, prenatal care, childbirth, and postpartum care—without any kind of cost-sharing.
“We want to be clear: The courts are once again usurping the will of the American people to further a far-right, ideological agenda. It’s no surprise that case after case to strip women and LGBTQ+ people of their rights is being filed within the Northern District Court of Texas. They have rigged the judicial system and are using it to cheat the American people of their health care and bodily autonomy.”
In Massachusetts, state law requires insurance coverage for contraception access. For a list of other Massachusetts state-mandated services, see here.
Jonathan Mitchell, a lead attorney in this case, is also responsible for crafting Texas’ SB8 abortion ban. Mitchell also filed a brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that came before the U.S. Supreme Court and overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Today’s ruling was made in the same federal judicial district that will decide the fate of mifepristone access nationwide.