The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Condemns Ruling

July 8, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar
(202) 599-7642 /

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Supreme Court ruled against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women by validating a Trump administration rule that allows virtually any employer or university to declare itself exempt from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that health plans cover birth control without out-of-pocket costs. Now, hundreds of thousands of people could lose their birth control coverage and workers with low wages or who face other barriers to care will be the most impacted.  

Of the over 50 percent of AAPI women who are of reproductive age, data show that they are using less effective, cheaper contraceptive methods at much higher rates compared to women of other races and ethnicities. Access to contraception is particularly important for women in low-wage jobs, who are disproportionately women of color. Women in the low-wage workforce are less likely to have parental leave or predictable or flexible work schedules and are among the most impacted by pregnancy discrimination. These rules will also only serve to exacerbate gender wage disparities, particularly those for women of color who face the highest wage gaps. While wage disparities persist, contraception has played a critical role in advancing gender equality by reducing the wage gap. When women are able to access and use contraception, they have more control over if, when, and how they want to parent — most importantly, it allows them to space their births apart and be more prepared for each child.

The decision concerns two consolidated cases —Trump v. Pennsylvania and Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania. In April, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice, National Women’s Law Center, and SisterLove, Inc. and 50 signatory organizations filed an amicus brief in the case. These groups previously filed an amicus brief in Trump v. Pennsylvania in the Third Circuit and the communities they represent reflect those that will experience the disproportionate harm caused by these rules. 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“The Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate was a huge step forward for Asian American and Pacific Islander women for whom immigration status, racial bias, high out-of-pocket costs, and language have long served as barriers to health care. Now, if an employer or school objects, many people may be left on their own to pay for birth control. Exemptions to covering contraception undermine the autonomy of AAPI women and deny us control over our families and our lives. In affirming these rules, the Supreme Court is sanctioning healthcare discrimination against those who have the ability to get pregnant — and condemning them to face an ever growing list of disparities in health care.”

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.