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Birth Control Access at Risk at the United States Supreme Court Tomorrow

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, May 5, 2020
CONTACT: Planned Parenthood Votes Media Office; 212-261-4433; [email protected]
Planned Parenthood Votes Pressroom

Supreme Court to consider Trump administration rules that would allow an employer or university to deny birth control coverage due to their own personal objections

Washington, DC Tomorrow, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Trump v. Pennsylvania, a case that could endanger birth control for millions. If the Supreme Court sides with the Trump administration in their efforts to allow bosses and universities to refuse to cover birth control under their health insurance plans, it could have serious implications for the Affordable Care Act’s requirement to guarantee birth control coverage — which has benefited more than 62 million women, including 17 million Latinas and 15 million Black women. As the COVID-19 pandemic grows more serious every day, this case could move access to affordable health care backward at a time when it’s needed more than ever.

Tomorrow's case demonstrates that it’s not just access to abortion that is at risk in the federal courts — it’s access to all health care, including basic sexual and reproductive health care like birth control. Senators like Thom Tillis (R-NC), Steve Daines (R-MT), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Cory Gardner (R-CO) have put their constituents' reproductive health care in jeopardy by voting to confirm almost 200 of Trump’s judicial nominees — many of whom have records opposed to reproductive health — to lifetime positions on the courts.

Voters want elected officials who will stand up for their rights and health care, and Planned Parenthood Votes is uniquely positioned to engage and mobilize voters to deliver a message to the politicians who have attacked our health care: We decide, and we vote.

Jenny Lawson, executive director, Planned Parenthood Votes:

“It seems unbelievable that in 2020, we still have to fight to protect access to birth control. Yet tomorrow's Supreme Court case provides only the most recent example of Donald Trump coming for our reproductive rights. From Trump’s gag rule on Title X, the bipartisan program that has provided affordable birth control for nearly 50 years, to the frantic efforts to stack the courts with judges who have records hostile to reproductive health, Trump and Senate Republicans have targeted basic reproductive care like birth control for years. Trump and his enablers in the Senate — like Thom Tillis, Martha McSally, and Cory Gardner — have done everything in their power to control our bodies, our lives, and our futures, even in the middle of a global pandemic. No matter the outcome of this case, one thing is crystal clear: Everything is on the line in 2020. We need to elect champions who we can count on to protect and expand our access to reproductive health care, and Planned Parenthood Votes and our supporters are up to the task."

Despite the fact that nearly 9 out 10 women will use birth control in their lifetimes, the policy in tomorrow’s Supreme Court case is just further proof that Trump and his political allies are zeroed in on attacking reproductive health care — even amid a global health pandemic.

  • President Donald Trump put two justices on the Supreme Court with records hostile to reproductive health, jeopardized access to affordable birth control and other reproductive health care with the Title X and global gag rules, called for an abortion ban on the campaign trail, and said “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions — to name just a few of his attacks on reproductive health care.
  • Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), and Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) attacked access to affordable birth control and other vital reproductive health services by standing with the Trump administration's dangerous Title X gag rule, doing nothing to protect the bipartisan program that helps their constituents with low incomes access the reproductive health care they need, like birth control and HIV testing.
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) ignored the calls of Mainers and instead stood with Mitch McConnell when she voted for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, ignoring the warning signs that Kavanaugh would be a staunch opponent of reproductive rights as a justice. She has voted to confirm more than 150 Trump nominees over the past three years.

From now until November, Planned Parenthood Votes will be fighting to re-elect our health care champions who have pledged to protect safe, legal abortion:

  • Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has fought to expand access to birth control because she knows that “Birth control is health care, and it should be accessible and affordable for every woman.”
  • Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI) has always been a champion for reproductive health care. On the floor of the United States House of Representatives, Peters delivered blistering criticism to Republican politicians who aimed to limit access to birth control, saying, “The debate about contraception is really about Republicans’ deep-seated opposition to women making decisions about their own bodies. It is an outrage. It is unconscionable.”
  • Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) can always be counted on to speak out against efforts to roll back health care coverage of birth control, because she knows that “birth control is essential health care for women.”


Planned Parenthood Votes is an independent expenditure political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission.