Saperstein: “The new proposal will ensure that women have access to contraception and that the rights of religious institutional employers are respected."
Washington, D.C., February 4, 2013 - In response to the Obama Administration’s proposed rules regarding contraceptive coverage under the Affordable Care Act, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:
“We welcome the revised contraception coverage proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services. The new proposal will ensure women have access to contraception and that the rights of religious institutional employers are respected. We also appreciate that the definition of religious employers has been clarified and now reflects that found elsewhere in federal code. In particular, we are encouraged that the Administration concurred with the position we have espoused from the beginning – that whatever exemption religious organizations are entitled to should not depend on the faith of the people to whom they provide social services nor that of those who they hire to provide such services.
The Reform Movement has long been a staunch supporter of women’s reproductive rights and strongly advocated for the inclusion of contraception coverage in the Affordable Care Act. Our Jewish texts and teachings inform our understanding that every woman is entitled to access and make her own decisions about reproductive health care. At the same time, we have worked tirelessly to ensure that the Constitution’s commitment to religious freedom is upheld.
We look forward to commenting formally on these regulations in the coming weeks and encourage the Administration to continue its strong commitment to protecting women’s health and defending religious liberty as this process continues to unfold.”