American Nurses Association Statement
“ANA commends President Obama for offering a compromise that balances women’s reproductive health needs with the principle of religious liberty for religiously-run institutions,” said Rose Gonzalez, PhD, RN, director of government affairs for the American Nurses Association (ANA).
ANA sent a letter Feb. 9 to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius supporting the decision ensuring that women with health insurance coverage would have access to the full range of pregnancy planning and preventive services, including contraception.
Family planning services are vital for women’s health and well-being, especially the two-thirds of American women who wish to avoid or postpone pregnancy. The decision to not broaden the religious exemption beyond church-sponsored plans affirms that a woman’s access to needed care, including contraception and other preventive care, should not depend on her employer type.
Under President Obama’s compromise policy, religiously-run institutions, such as hospitals, will not be required to provide coverage of contraception to employees as part of their health insurance plans. However, the employers’ health insurance companies will be required to offer contraceptive coverage free of charge directly to employees.