By Lexi McMenamin
While most media coverage of the almost decade-long legal battle against the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) birth control benefit focuses on the impact it might have on workers, I know from personal experience the impact it might have on college campuses, especially Catholic schools.
Last week, the Little Sisters of the Poor argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in the latest legal salvo against the popular birth control benefit, which guarantees access to contraception approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) at no additional cost or co-pay in most employer-sponsored health plans. Both the nuns at Little Sisters and the Trump administration are looking to blow a hole in the benefit, giving any employer the ability to deny providing contraception coverage.
Conservatives’ fight against the birth control benefit has gone to the Supreme Court multiple times, and there’s a good chance the Court will rule in support of religious institutions once more.
The impact will be felt by students, professors, graduate students, student employees, and other staffers on Catholic college campuses. Catholic colleges are already given free rein to deny contraception to undergraduate students who may not know other resources to access birth control. Solicitor General Noel Francisco estimated 75,000 and 125,000 people would lose contraception coverage.
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