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Women continue to face restrictions on accessing reproductive health care. In addition to restrictions on abortion and birth control, women face hospitals that won't correctly treat an ectopic pregnancy, pharmacists that refuse to fill a woman's birth control prescription, and even employers that want to fire a woman for using in vitro fertilization. We are working to stop these threats to a woman's ability to make the best decision for her, her family, and her future.

Highlights

Legal Briefs & Testimony | Amicus Brief in Iowa Telemedicine

November 21, 2014

The Center, along with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Iowa Coalition Against Sexual Assault, filed a brief in the Iowa Supreme Court against a regulation that requires medically unnecessary, politically motivated, and harmful measures during medication abortions, which have been proven to be safe and effective. The regulation requires that a physician be physically present and perform a physical exam of the pregnant woman before providing a medication abortion. It also requires every patient to return to the same clinic for a routine follow-up visit. In doing so, the regulation would end Planned Parenthood of the Heartland’s telemedicine program, which has extended access to medication abortion to women in more remote parts of the state.

A medication abortion via telemedicine allows a physician to talk with a woman via secure videoconferencing before remotely dispensing an abortion-inducing drug. A Planned Parenthood staff member is in the room at all times to supervise and provide support. The brief sets out why the regulation ending the telemedicine program will increase travel time and costs for rural women, increase barriers to care for women living in poverty, and endanger women for whom surgical abortion is contraindicated. The brief explains how the regulation will also potentially harm women in abusive relationships because of the barriers they face in obtaining an abortion. It also emphasizes that the Board implemented the regulation even though the telemedicine program is proven safe.

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Fact Sheet | States Take Action to Stop Bosses’ Religious Beliefs from Trumping Women’s Reproductive Health Care Decisions

April 15, 2015

Across the country, employers are using their religious beliefs to discriminate against their employees because they disagree with their employees’ personal reproductive health care decisions. Women are being punished, threatened, or fired for using birth control, for undergoing in vitro fertilization in order to get pregnant, or for having sex without being married. It is unfair that a person would be fired or discriminated against because of a decision about whether to prevent pregnancy or start a family.

Employers should not be allowed to use their personal religious beliefs to discriminate against employees, who typically come from all different faiths. Fortunately, states have begun to step forward to protect employees, introducing legislation to make it clear that bosses cannot obstruct or coerce an employee when that employee makes a personal reproductive health care decision.

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Legal Briefs & Testimony | NWLC Amicus Briefs Supporting the Contraceptive Coverage Benefit

May 19, 2015

The Center is filing friend of the court briefs in lawsuits challenging the federal contraceptive coverage benefit, brought by employers who want to deny their employees this important benefit.  These cases involve suits brought under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.  These cases will decide whether a boss’s religious beliefs trump women’s health and women’s access to the health care they need.

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Fact Sheet | D.C. Employees and Students Deserve Protection Against Discrimination, Not Congressional Interference

April 29, 2015

Representative Diane Black (R-TN) and Representative Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) have introduced resolutions that would disapprove two District of Columbia laws recently passed by the D.C. Council. The disapproval resolutions – H.J. Res. 43 and 44 – would block laws aimed at protecting women and their families and LGBT students in the District of Columbia from harsh discrimination at work and school.

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More Resources

Legal Briefs & Testimony | NWLC Amicus Briefs Supporting the Contraceptive Coverage Benefit

May 19, 2015

Fact Sheet | H.R. 36, A Nationwide Abortion Ban, Would Allow Politicians, Not Women or Medical Experts, to Decide Women’s Personal Medical Decisions

May 12, 2015

Fact Sheet | D.C. Employees and Students Deserve Protection Against Discrimination, Not Congressional Interference

April 29, 2015

Coalition Action Materials | Joint Statement Opposing Efforts to use Religion to Discriminate in Congress

April 22, 2015

Fact Sheet | States Take Action to Stop Bosses’ Religious Beliefs from Trumping Women’s Reproductive Health Care Decisions

April 15, 2015