Legal / Federal Action

Attention, Low-Income Women of Oregon: Your Reproduction Is Now the Government’s Business

Who is REALLY in your bedroom? [Comment: At my follow-up exam after the birth of my fourth child, I was asked what kind of birth control I was on by my obstetrician’s partner. I was a bit offended by the bluntness and tone of the question. I answered that I was going back to Natural Family Planning (NFP) which had worked so well in the past. The doctor immediately exclaimed that NFP doesn’t work. When I quoted the statistics and my experience, he then said that NFP was “too hard”. Really?? Now, I was really offended. I told my regular obstetrician about this exchange so that he could educate this young doctor not only about the benefits of NFP but also the risks of artificial contraceptives. I was sadly lacking in that information when I was first married and had to discover it myself when I had problems with the Pill. Reading this article as well as various other medical articles that sing the praises of medical contraceptives while dismissing the real risks and ignoring NFP, I believe this tactic is widespread. All women deserve to know all the risks and options to give truly informed consent. N. Valko RN] Attention, Low-Income Women of Oregon: Your Reproduction Is Now the Government’s Business Oregon’s implementation of its new contraceptive metric is an alarming sign that nationwide governmental monitoring of America’s low-income women’s reproduction is on its way—along with flagrant disregard for women’s privacy and religious freedom. Print Friendly Oregon’s low-income women are about to be subjected to a level of invasive questioning and religious disrespect by government-funded health-care providers on...

HHS Mandate Crackdown: Obama Admin Warns Insurance Companies They Must Pay for Abortion-Inducing Contraceptives (2015)

The Obama administration has doubled down on its demand that insurance companies furnish women with all forms of contraception, including those that act as abortifacients, at no cost – cracking down on those who allegedly refuse to offer such drugs in their health insurance plans. Congressional Democrats urged President Obama to make the alleged evasion a priority. One of their complaints, based on two April 2015 reports released by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and the Kaiser Family Foundation, was that while health insurance companies may cover one of each in a “category” of contraceptive/abortifacient, these companies should be forced to cover all 18 methods recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. The New York Times reports: [R]esearchers at the National Women’s Law Center found that some insurers lumped together several methods of contraception and covered only one or two in a category. For example, they said, some insurers did not cover the contraceptive patch or the vaginal contraceptive ring because they covered another “hormonal method” of contraception, like birth control pills. “Under the new guidance,” the Times concludes, “such restrictions are not allowed.” Nor will co-pays or cost-sharing be permitted; insurance companies must provide all contraceptive/abortifacient methods “at no cost to consumers.” NWLC Vice President Gretchen Borchelt that “insurance companies have been breaking the law, and today the Obama administration underscored that it will not tolerate these violations.” The NWLC joined Senator Patty Murray, D-WA, in praising the Obama administration’s move. Murray, who along with other congressional Democrats had demanded clarification of the Department of Health and Human Services’ rules on contraceptive/abortifacient coverage, alleged that women throughout...

Condoms: Billions Made in U.S. Shape Foreign Aid Policy (10/06)

Condoms made in U.S. shape foreign aid policy By Celia W. Dugger / The New York Times, Published: October 29, 2006 EUFAULA, Alabama: Here in this courtly, antebellum town, Alabama's condom production has survived an onslaught of Asian competition, thanks to the patronage of straitlaced congressmen from this Bible Belt state. Behind the scenes, the politicians have ensured that companies in Alabama won U.S. government contracts to make billions of condoms over the years for AIDS prevention and family planning programs overseas, although Asian factories could do the job at less than half the cost. In recent years, the state's condom manufacturers fell hundreds of millions of condoms behind on orders, and a U.S. international aid agency began buying them from Asia. The use of Asian-made condoms has contributed to layoffs here that are coming next month. But one of Alabama's two Republican senators, Jeff Sessions, has quietly pressed to maintain the priority for American-made condoms and will probably prevail if the past is any guide. "What's wrong with helping the American worker at the same time we are helping people around the world?" asked the senator's spokesman, Michael Brumas. That question goes to the heart of an intensifying debate among wealthy nations over the degree to which foreign aid is about saving jobs at home or lives abroad. Britain, Ireland and Norway have all sought to make aid more cost effective by opening contracts in their programs to fight global poverty to international competition. The United States, meanwhile, continues to restrict bidding on billions of dollars worth of business to companies operating in America, and not just those...

Judge Rules Ban on Contraceptive Coverage is Discriminatory

U.S. District Judge Laurie Smith Camp in Omaha, NE, ruled 22July05 that Union Pacific Railroad — which employs about 49,000 workers nationwide, including 1,300 women — illegally discriminated against female employees by not providing contraceptive coverage in its health plans. Although Smith Camp did not order the company to begin covering contraceptives, she said Union Pacific’s policy violated the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discrimination based on gender or pregnancy. The class-action lawsuit — which was filed by two female Union Pacific employees, who were represented by Planned Parenthood of Western Washington — sought to require the company to provide coverage for FDA-approved prescription contraceptives for women employees and the female family members of male employees covered by the company’s policies. Smith Camp ruled that the health plan policy was discriminatory because it covered many preventive health medications — including drugs for erectile dysfunction — but not contraception (O’Hanlon, AP/Yahoo! News, 7/25). The company argued that it did not need to provide contraceptive coverage “because fertility is ‘normal'” therefore birth control is not “medically necessary.” In her ruling, Smith Camp acknowledged that fertility is normal but added, “There is also no doubt that pregnancy is a condition that has a profound impact on a woman’s health.” Later rulings will determine what Union Pacific must change about its current policies in order to comply with the Civil Rights Act. Union Pacific spokesperson Mark Davis said the company likely will appeal the ruling (AP/Yahoo! News, 7/25). Davis said the company’s union during its most recent labor agreement agreed to not provide...