Last week, Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) in Florida and Representatives Annette Dub (D-NE) and Beau McCoy (R-NE) in Nebraska proposed bills that, if passed, would ban abortion coverage in insurance policies sold in state health insurance exchanges. The state exchanges are scheduled to begin operating in 2014. Representative McCoy's bill, which was endorsed by Nebraska Right to Life, also proposes prohibiting private health plans from covering abortion services unless the women's life is threatened.
Representative Gaetz (R-FL) said that he intended for the bill to serve as an extension of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or impending death of the woman.
Stephanie Kunkel, executive director of the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, pointed out that the bill is unnecessary because federal restrictions on abortion funding already exist. She clarified, "Our hope is elected officials will agree this (Gaetz bill) is simply unnecessary and will let it die."
Media Resources: National Partnership for Women and Families 1/6/11, 1/7/11; Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates 1/10/11, 1/5/11; Sarasota Herald Tribune 1/7/11; Associated Press 1/6/11; Feminist Daily Newswire 3/23/10
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .