A Woman's Health Care Decisions Should Be in Her Own Hands, Not Her Boss's

Ed. note: This is cross-posted from The Huffington Post. See the original post here.

Ensuring the full freedom of women as health care consumers to access essential preventative health services is a vital component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). And nowhere are health decisions more personal or essential to keep in their hands, than those regarding reproductive health. The ACA was designed to ensure that health care decisions are made between a woman and her doctor, and not by her boss, or Washington politicians.

Today, there are people trying to take this right away from women, by letting private, for-profit corporations and employers make medical decisions for their employees, based on their personal beliefs.

A group of for-profit companies are currently suing to gain the right to deny employees access to coverage for birth control and contraceptive care, which are used by the overwhelming majority of American women in their lifetimes. Among the first cases to reach the Supreme Court is one filed by Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain whose owners want to be able to take the option for birth control benefits away from their employees.

We are confident the Supreme Court will agree that health decisions in this country should remain with individuals, in consultation with their doctors, families, faiths, and whomever else they personally trust. No corporate entity should be in position to limit women's legal access to care, or to seize a controlling interest over the health care choices of women. To take that type of power away from individuals, and to let the personal beliefs of a woman's boss dictate her health care choices would constitute a major step backward for women's health, and self-determination.

Valerie B. Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. She oversees the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and chairs the White House Council on Women and Girls.
Related Topics: Women
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