Quinn Signs Ballot Question on Birth Control - NBC Chicago
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Quinn Signs Ballot Question on Birth Control

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    Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a November ballot question that'll ask voters if they think prescription drug coverage plans should be required to include birth control.

    The Chicago Democrat inked the non-binding question Sunday. In a statement, Quinn says a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on birth control has brought the issue of women's rights to the forefront.

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that birth control measures can be excluded from employer-provided prescription drug coverage if such coverage is in opposition to the employer's religious beliefs.

    The decision came after for-profit corporations like Hobby Lobby challenged a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

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    “I think Illinois’ voters will agree that healthcare is a human right, and the Affordable Care Act is meant to give all Americans access to decent, affordable healthcare. That means full access to medical treatment for every woman in America, regardless of who they are or where they work," Quinn said in a statement. "Women should be able to make their own healthcare decisions. This referendum will help continue the progress we’ve made to protect and empower women in Illinois.”

    Illinois already requires insurance providers that cover prescription drugs to also cover FDA-approved contraceptive drugs for women.

    State Sen. Iris Martinez sponsored that legislation, which became law in 2003. She's a sponsor of the ballot measure and says it's necessary to make the argument stronger in light of the Affordable Care Act and court disputes.

    “I am deeply concerned that the floodgates are open to litigation that could erode the rights of women and workers,” Martinez said. “As public officials, we must be informed and prepared.”

    But Republicans argue it's a gimmick intended to boost Democratic voter turnout.