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Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy

Sharon G. Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy, joined the Center in June 2012, and oversees the Center's work on reproductive health law and policy at the national level. Prior to joining the Center, Ms. Levin was Vice President and General Counsel at the National Abortion Federation; a consultant for NARAL Pro-Choice America; and Director of Advocacy at the Washington Area Women's Foundation. Ms. Levin was also Co-Chief Counsel to Senator Charles E. Schumer and Special Assistant for Women's Issues and Legislative Counsel to Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey. Ms. Levin is an Adjunct Professor at American University's Washington College of Law, and holds a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and a B.A. in history from Columbia University.

My Take

Taking Away Women's Health Care? Don't Bring It On

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: September 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

Anti-women’s health Members of Congress have become obsessed with de-funding Planned Parenthood and other providers of health services — without any concern for where millions of patients will go to get the health care need if they succeed in their attack.

Today alone, the House is interrogating the President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, and voting on a bill that gives states broad unchecked authority to de-fund it.


The EACH Woman Act, Explained by Empire's Cookie Lyons

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: September 02, 2015 at 04:02 pm

This summer, champions of women’s health in Congress introduced the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Woman Act, which will lift the bans that deny women insurance coverage of abortion. This includes the Hyde Amendment, a harmful prohibition on abortion coverage for low-income women qualified for Medicaid. 

Another thing introduced in 2015 that is amazing and groundbreaking is Empire and its lead character Cookie Lyons (portrayed by Emmy-nominated Taraji P. Henson.) This strong, complicated, take-no-prisoners woman embodies all of our responses to over-turning this ban on low-income women’s access to abortion and the introduction of this important bill.


"Hyde & Sneak:" Congress Will Vote to Expand Hyde Amendment—Again

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: July 07, 2015 at 09:59 am

Unbelievably, once again some Members of Congress are trying to pass an abortion restriction that would expand the Hyde Amendment — which is the provision of law that bars abortion from being included in federal programs — like Medicaid or (in this case) NIH research.

Instead of raising the minimum wage, or creating more jobs, or — I don’t know — making sure that women actually have access to reproductive health care, the House of Representatives is focused on spreading this insidious restriction.


You Oughta Know: We've Been Fighting the Same Fight to Protect Title X for 20 Years

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: June 17, 2015 at 10:34 am

Twenty years ago this summer, I stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and watched a group of pro-family planning Members of the House save the Title X family planning program from losing all of its funding. I was 29 years old and had only been working in the House for a few months (and was listening to Alanis Morrisette’s “Jagged Little Pill” repeatedly). Because my boss, Representative Nita Lowey, had made saving Title X one of her top priorities, I had the privilege of helping her organize this fight. She and a group of other Representatives — Democrats and Republicans, men and women — joined together to save this critical program. And, they did save it — by only 20 votes.

I’m flashing back today because this morning the House leadership released a bill that once again attempts to de-fund this critical health program. And it makes no more sense today than it did 20 years ago.


Working for a "Shift" on Abortion Stigma in Texas

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: May 29, 2015 at 04:34 pm

As many of you know, due to several extreme anti-abortion bills, over half the abortion clinics in Texas have been forced to close. Amy Hagstrom Miller, who led the fight against the Texas laws, is still fighting. She has just launched a new non-profit called Shift, because, as she says, she is “so over” abortion stigma.

Amy is the founder of Whole Women’s Health, a group of feminist clinics that provides holistic health care for women — including abortion. Whole Women’s Health was founded in Texas, and for the past few decades Amy has been at the forefront of the fight for women’s health and constitutional rights in that state.