Audrey Ann Ross

Statement from AccessMatters Applauding Decision to Preserve Access to Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee for Thousands Nationwide

[PHILADELPHIA (January 14, 2019) ]: Late Monday, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued a decision in a lawsuit led by PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro challenging the Trump Administration’s rulemaking that expanded exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage guarantee. The decision blocks the Administration’s 2018 final rules, originally slated to take effect today. The rules would have allowed even more employers to refuse to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage guarantee on the basis of moral or religious objections.

Following today’s decision, Melissa Weiler Gerber, AccessMatters’ President & CEO released the following statement:

“We applaud and stand behind U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone’s decision to block these new rules from going into effect and preventing them from restricting access to contraceptives for over 127,000 people. The Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive guarantee has provided over 55 million people with access to affordable contraceptive coverage – 2.5 million people in the Commonwealth alone. While today’s monumental decision is not a permanent solution, it provides critical and immediate protection and is a major step in the right direction.

Time and time again, evidence-based research has supported the need for, and benefits of, continued access to contraceptive care. When people have access to such important health care, they are empowered to make decisions about their health and well-being and to decide if and when they want to start or expand a family. Pennsylvania currently lacks state-wide protections for people to receive high-quality contraceptive care with no out-of-pocket costs.

We are grateful for Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s relentless efforts to ensure Pennsylvanians have access to affordable contraceptives and urge the state legislature to safeguard this important coverage through a statewide contraceptive coverage guarantee.

While today’s win in the Courts is promising, access to contraceptive care will likely continue to be threatened. We have a great ally in the Attorney General’s office, and now we need the General Assembly to join the effort and act to protect access permanently.”

– Melissa Weiler Gerber, President & CEO


AccessMatters is the catalyst for providing access to sexual and reproductive health care for teens and adults in need reaching over 150,000 individuals annually. For more information about AccessMatters programs, visit, @AccessMatters4U on Twitter, and @AccessMatters on Facebook.

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