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91 Organizations Join the National Women’s Law Center in Publicly Declaring Strong Support for Planned Parenthood in a Letter to Congressional Leadership

July 27, 2015

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, the National Women’s Law Center sent a letter to congressional leadership, on behalf of 91 organizations, showing strong support for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  The organizations represent a broad range of perspectives, including advocates of women’s rights and health, health care providers, communities of color, faith communities, and unions, which recognize Planned Parenthood’s critical role in providing health care to millions of American women and men.  

National Women’s Law Center Statement on the Death of Sandra Bland

July 23, 2015

(Washington, DC) Sandra Bland was a friend, a daughter, a sorority sister, and a colleague. She was on her way home from a job interview for a position she had just been offered when she was pulled over for a minor traffic violation. She was then arrested and a few days later found dead in her jail cell. She was 28 years old.

The following is a statement by Marcia D. Greenberger, Co-President of the National Women’s Law Center:

 “Sandra Bland joins the too-long list of African Americans in the United States who have lost their lives in the custody of police. She joins the too-long list of potential unfulfilled and of futures cut short too soon.  She joins the too-long list of African Americans whose talents and skills were taken from their families, communities and country.

“Today, we #SayHerName: because we will never achieve equality and opportunity for women while systemic racism continues to put hurdles on the paths of women of color.  We must continue to confront the race and sex bias that affects women of color, particularly black women and trans women of color, in a uniquely painful and destructive way.  We will continue to #SayHerName.  And as the #BlackLivesMatter conference begins this week, we stand in support of the powerful organizing that is demanding an end to the systemic racism that oppresses all people of color.” 

Groundbreaking Equality Act Will Advance Equal Opportunity and Fair Treatment, Says NWLC

July 23, 2015

(Washington, DC) Today, Congress introduced the Equality Act, historic legislation that includes comprehensive protections promoting fair and equal treatment for LGBT individuals and also strengthens legal protections for women as a whole, closing longstanding gaps in federal antidiscrimination law. The bill aims to ensure that stereotypes about sex and gender—who men and women are and the roles they can play in society—do not deny anyone equal opportunity in major aspects of their lives.

Flawed Senate Education Bill Fails to Support At-Risk Youth, NWLC Says

July 16, 2015

(Washington, D.C.)  Today, the U.S. Senate voted to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which funds primary and secondary education and holds states and school districts accountable for using the funding to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth.  

NWLC Applauds New Legislation to Promote Fair Schedules for Workers

July 15, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) Today, members of the House and Senate will re-introduce the Schedules That Work Act, critical legislation to give workers a say in their schedules and curb many of the business practices that result in unpredictable and unstable work schedules, which make it hard for many people to plan their lives and cobble together enough hours to support their families.  The bill would require employers to put a simple system in place for all employees to make scheduling requests without fear of retaliation and accommodate requests for schedule changes due to caregiving or school responsibilities, an employee’s serious health condition, or a part-time employee’s need for a second job unless there is a legitimate business reason not to do so.  It would also require advance notice of schedules in the retail, restaurant, and building and cleaning occupations and provide premium pay to employees in those occupations when they are subjected to particularly difficult scheduling practices. 

Court Decision in Little Sisters v. Burwell Important Win for Women’s Access to Contraception, Says NWLC

July 14, 2015

(Washington, DC) In another defeat for those challenging the birth control coverage accommodation, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, in addressing a procedural motion, strongly rejected the arguments made by certain non-profit organizations, including the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for the Aged, that the birth control rule is illegal under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and unconstitutional under the First Amendment.   The ruling is the fifth Circuit Court decision recognizing the strong legal arguments supporting the health care law’s accommodation since the Supreme Court’s Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc. decision last year. The accommodation allows non-profit employers with religious objections to birth control to refuse to cover it in employer health plans, but ensures that women can get birth control coverage directly from their insurer.  

Administration’s Birth Control Rule is Mixed

July 10, 2015

 (Washington, D.C.)— Today, in response to the Supreme Court’s unprecedented and harmful decision last year in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the Departments of Human and Health Services, Treasury, and Labor finalized a rule that ensures women affected by the decision can still obtain birth control at no-cost directly from the insurance company—but potentially allows even more for-profit employers than the decision addressed to refuse to cover birth control in their employee health plans.

Chicago Public Schools Agree to Add Spots on Sports Teams for Girls in Response to NWLC Complaint

July 10, 2015

(Washington, D.C.)  In response to a complaint filed by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) in 2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) entered an agreement with the Chicago Public Schools—the largest school district in the state—to ensure that it provides girls with equal opportunities to play sports consistent with Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded schools.  The investigation revealed significant disparities in the district’s 98 high schools. These gaps represent a total of 6,200 additional spots on teams needed to level the playing field for female students.  

House Defeats Amendment to Strike Hyde Amendment from 21st Century Cures Bill

July 10, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the House of Representatives defeated an amendment offered by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) to strike a provision in the 21st Century Cures Act (H.R. 6) that would have applied the Hyde Amendment, a federal restriction on abortion coverage, to a new mandatory fund for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). 

New Bill Would Rescind the Hyde Amendment

July 8, 2015

(Washington, D.C.) Today, Members of the House of Representatives introduced a bill that would end the dangerous “Hyde Amendment,” preventing the government from withholding insurance coverage of abortion from federally-funded insurance programs such as Medicaid. The Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act, introduced by Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Diana Degette (D-CO), would also lift bans on abortion imposed by the federal government as an employer or provider of health services and would prevent state lawmakers from restricting private insurance plans from covering abortion.