Volume 16, Number 16
March 24, 2014
Monday, ASRM sent a statement to media outlets on Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, heard yesterday by the Supreme Court.
Statement attributable to Rebecca Sokol MD, MPH, Acting President, American Society for Reproductive Medicine:
As the highest court in the land convenes to hear Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., we are pleased to join with our colleagues throughout medicine to support the inclusion of contraception as an essential health benefit. We are a proud signatory to an amicus curia brief laying out the vital medical issues at stake.
As physicians, we are trained to look at the data, and in this case the data are extremely clear: access to contraception saves lives. As experts in reproduction we know the key to maximizing the chances for a successful pregnancy and a healthy baby – planning. Planned pregnancies are far more likely to lead to safe deliveries, healthy mothers and healthy babies.
This country’s reproductive specialists are tired of our field being singled out. We are tired of our patients being denied access to the care they need because others, be they politicians or business owners, think they can make decisions about someone else’s reproductive life. We reject that notion. Patients and physicians should make health care decisions, not bosses or elected officials.
The Institute of Medicine, a prestigious group of medical experts chartered by Congress to give them advice on medical issues, determined that contraception was of such value that all health plans should offer it. We would not dream of allowing a business to deny access to emergency care because they did not believe in it; we must treat contraception the same way.