Supporters file nearly 350,000 comments on contraception mandate


The groups said they reached out to their own networks and e-mail lists to solicit comments, and their supporters forwarded the requests to others.

"We will not let up," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

The contraception mandate requires most employers to cover contraception in their employees' health plans without charging a co-pay or deductible. Churches and houses of worship are exempt.

The policy includes an "accommodation" for religious-affiliated employers, such as Catholic hospitals and universities. Their insurance companies will provide the coverage directly to workers, still without cost-sharing, and the employer does not have to pay for or help facilitate the benefit.

“We know that access to birth control is good public policy and good health-care policy, so you can imagine how women everywhere cheered when the Affordable Health Care Act included this much-overdue health benefit," Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said on a conference call discussing the comments.

The mandate is facing dozens of lawsuits, and could ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court.

“The lawsuits challenging the contraceptive coverage benefit will decide whether a boss’s religious beliefs should trump women’s decisions about their health. These challenges have no legal basis and must fail," the National Women's Law Center said in a statement.

— This post was updated at 7:08 p.m.