As SCOTUS decision looms, Latino leaders affirm support for contraceptive coverage

23 major Latino/a organizations unite in support of women’s health care

(NEW YORK ) – Today, a group Latino/a organizations committed to the civil and human rights, health equity, and well-being of Latinas, their families, and communities, affirmed their support for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) preventive health services provisions, including the contraceptive coverage benefit (“benefit”), by distributing an open letter on the importance of contraceptive coverage for Latino/a communities.

As women’s health care decisions and contraceptive coverage are under threat, organizations like the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and others across the country are raising their voices to recognize the importance of this benefit for Latino/as, and the potential harm of permitting employers to interfere in the health care decisions of their workers.

“As the only national organization dedicated to advancing reproductive justice for Latinas, we’re excited to see that so many diverse Latino organizations support a woman’s ability to make her own personal decisions about contraception,” said Jessica González-Rojas, executive director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. “Every woman should be able to access affordable contraception, without her boss interfering. In fact, we know that our families and communities are stronger and healthier when Latinas can plan the timing and spacing of our children.”

“The ACA’s contraceptive coverage benefit is preventive and essential healthcare because it gives women the ability to plan and space their pregnancies, which results in better health outcomes for mothers and babies,” said Elena Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H., president & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association. “This benefit is particularly important for Latinas because many report struggling with the cost of prescription contraception, making consistent usage difficult. No co-pay contraception increases access to quality contraception, which ultimately benefits Latinas, our families, and our communities.”

“As a leader in the Latino labor movement, I’ve observed first-hand the strong correlation among family planning, career advancement, and financial stability. For many Latino families, affordable reproductive health care, including contraception, is a matter of economic justice,” said Hector Sanchez, executive director of Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

“The decision to use birth control is a personal one that should not be determined by the religious beliefs of employers. The outcome in the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case will especially affect Latinas who have struggled with the cost of birth control. Regardless of how this decision is interpreted we will continue to work with our communities in California to ensure that Latinas have access to all their health care needs including contraception,” said Laura Jiménez, executive director of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.

“In the last year, millions of women have benefited from contraception access with no co-pay, without bosses, lawmakers or judges helping them make those decisions. Preventative and reproductive health care are basic healthcare needs and fundamental human rights. Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights – and others who will be affected by this ruling – will be watching closely for the Court’s final decision. In the meantime, we will continue to advocate for reproductive rights in the workplace and reproductive justice for women and families who deserve to be healthy and strong,” said Cristina Aguilar, Executive Director of Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights. 

List of supporting organizations:

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Casa de Esperanza
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights
Farmworker Justice
Hispanic Federation
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
Latino Economic Development Center
Latino Justice PRLDEF
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC
MANA, A National Latina Organization
Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF)
National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives (NAHFE)
National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC)
National Hispanic Health Foundation
National Hispanic Media Coalition
National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA)
National Immigration Law Center
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health
The Hispanic Institute
U.S. Mexico Foundation
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI)
Voto Latino
Young Women United


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