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(Washington, DC) A report released today by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) exposes at least 20 insurance companies that are violating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) breastfeeding benefits and identified troubling trends in insurance company compliance that are likely to be systemic nationwide. NWLC found violations that include limiting coverage of breast pump purchases and failing to have lactation counselors in network.
(Washington, D.C.) The House today passed H.R. 36, a ban on later abortion that flouts medical evidence and women’s needs.
The following is a statement by Gretchen Borchelt, NWLC Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights:
As a law student at American University, Grace Pazdan learned that students were being denied prescription contraceptive coverage under the University’s mandatory student health plan, when virtually all other prescription drugs were covered. Grace and her fellow students contacted the NWLC and began organizing a grass roots campaign to raise awareness of this discrimination.
When I found myself pregnant in August of 2010 it only took a quick calculation to realize the baby was due right smack in the middle of my Spring semester of my junior year of college. Everything was fine until the fourth week of class. I was 40 weeks pregnant, feeling like labor was imminent, and I had a midterm exam that night. After I finished the exam, I went home so that I wouldn’t go into labor in the middle of class. Later, I realized I had received only 5 out of 25 points for “Attendance & Participation” for that day. I emailed the professor asking if she planned to dock me the full 25 points for each class I missed for the birth, and she said ‘yes.’ I had two options: either risk failing the course while giving birth, or withdraw. I withdrew.
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Texans are a competitive group, but lately Texas politicians are seeking a record no one should want—the worst state for women. Right now, Texas is ranked among the six worst states for women but if Texas politicians have their way, it may soon be the worst. The Texas House is set to vote on SB 575, an extreme coverage ban that would prevent all private insurance plans in the state from providing coverage of abortion as part of a comprehensive health plan.
The ACA made dramatic improvements in women’s health coverage. But, women only enjoy these benefits if insurance plans comply with the law, and our reports find that many don’t. I know firsthand how difficult (and expensive) it is when your insurance company doesn’t follow the law.
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