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NWLC Files Amicus Brief in Support of Marriage Equality

Posted by Elizabeth Johnston, Fellow | Posted on: March 06, 2015 at 03:30 pm

On Thursday, the National Women’s Law Center, along with several women’s organizations and legal scholars, filed an amicus brief in Obergefell v. Hodges and consolidated cases. The brief argues that laws discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, such as the marriage bans at issue in these cases, must be subject to heightened scrutiny under the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee, like laws that discriminate on the basis of sex or race. Such laws rely on outdated, stereotyped gender roles and the Constitution provides strong protection against government efforts to perpetuate them. 

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February’s Strong Employment Numbers Mask an Uneven Recovery

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: March 06, 2015 at 03:17 pm

Today’s BLS release of February’s employment data shows a drop in overall unemployment and big gains in jobs, but these strong overall numbers hide an uneven recovery that has left many women out. While women’s unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in over six years, some groups of vulnerable women continue to face high unemployment rates, and nearly forty percent of the jobs women added in February were in low-wage sectors. 

Women’s unemployment rate is at a 6-year low, but many groups of women are left out

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NWLC Supports Home Care Workers in D.C. Circuit Amicus Brief

Posted by Julie Vogtman, Senior Counsel and Director of Income Support Policy | Posted on: March 03, 2015 at 11:22 am

Last Friday, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) joined the American Civil Liberties Union, Legal Momentum, and a number of other civil rights advocates as amici curiae on a brief  filed with the D.C. Circuit in support of the Department of Labor (DOL) in Home Care Association of America vs. Weil. DOL is appealing the district court’s decision vacating central provisions of new regulations—for which NWLC advocated—extending Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) protections to nearly two million home care workers.

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Can The Supreme Court Take Away Maternity Coverage?

Posted by Dania Palanker, Senior Counsel | Posted on: March 03, 2015 at 11:12 am

Imagine an insurance market where only 12% of health insurance plans include maternity coverage. Imagine further that if a woman wanted to add maternity coverage, she would have to pay thousands of additional dollars each year and, even then, the insurance would not cover her pregnancy until she passed a one or two year waiting period. If a woman was pregnant when she applied for coverage or had a previous caesarian delivery, she could be denied health insurance.

It shouldn’t be too difficult to imagine, since this was the individual health insurance market in the United States just fifteen months ago.

When LaDonna Appelbaum became pregnant in 2010, she discovered that her health insurance did not cover maternity care — it did not cover any costs related to prenatal care, nor any related to her eventual miscarriage. When she searched for a new policy that would provide these benefits, she was told that she would have to endure a one-year waiting period for pregnancy coverage — and then her premiums would quadruple.

The individual health insurance market failed women like LaDonna before the passage of the Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, March 4, the Supreme Court will hear a case that could bring those failures back.

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What Are They Thinking? Six States Argue Against Financial Assistance in King v. Burwell—Threatening Nearly 1 Million Women

Posted by Courtney Ross, Intern | Posted on: March 03, 2015 at 11:05 am

On March 4th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v. Burwell, a case challenging a core provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Court will decide whether individuals and families will continue to receive tax credits to help purchase insurance on the federally-facilitated health insurance marketplaces. There are currently 37 states that utilize this kind of marketplace.

The loss of tax credits would have dire consequences in these states — we estimate that nearly 7 million women would lose access to affordable coverage. Last year, 86 percent of people who sought coverage in the federally-facilitated marketplaces used tax credits to lower their premiums [PDF], and this year’s enrollees similarly rely on this help. If such a high proportion of Marketplace enrollees lose coverage following the Court’s decision, premiums for remaining enrollees would skyrocket, further destabilizing the market.

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Seven Million Reasons to Worry about King v. Burwell

Posted by Stephanie Glover, Health Policy Fellow | Posted on: March 02, 2015 at 01:54 pm

King v. Burwell is the most recent case attacking the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to head to the Supreme Court.  And it’s putting seven million women at risk of losing their access to affordable health insurance.

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Mississippi is Determined to Shut Down the State’s Only Abortion Clinic

Posted by Rachel Parker, Intern | Posted on: February 27, 2015 at 04:27 pm

Earlier last year, in Jackson Women’s Health Organization v. Currier, a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit blocked a law that would have shut down Mississippi’s only abortion clinic.

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Judiciary Committee Approves Lynch Nomination

Posted by Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Women and the Courts | Posted on: February 26, 2015 at 03:41 pm

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General of the United States.  The nomination received bipartisan support, including that of Senators Flake, Graham, and Hatch, underscoring once again the superb qualifications of the nominee.  At this point, the nomination is ready to be vot

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