Scott Statement on Trump v. Pennsylvania

July 9, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) released the following statement after the Supreme Court ruled in Trump v. Pennsylvania that, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, employers can claim a religious or moral objection to deny workers health insurance coverage for contraceptive care.

“The passage of the Affordable Care Act a decade ago was a major milestone in our effort to ensure all Americans have access to safe and affordable contraceptive care. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court decision in Trump v. Pennsylvania put much of that progress in jeopardy.

“With this ruling, any employers in any part of the country will be able to deny workers’ contraceptive coverage based only on their claim to moral or religious beliefs.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of women will lose birth control coverage – even if that coverage is otherwise required by law – based only on the personal beliefs their employers happen to hold.  Women who lose this coverage will then be forced to pay out-of-pocket for costly and often essential contraceptive care.

“This decision also threatens our civil rights on a broader scale.  By misconstruing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Court’s decision sets a dangerous precedent that encourages employers to engage in other forms of workplace discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

“Religious liberty should never justify discrimination.  That is why Congress must pass H.R. 1450, the Do No Harm Act, which would help ensure that our closely held right to religious liberty cannot be used to undermine civil and legal rights.”

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