Illinois To Consider Contraceptive Coverage Parity Bill
Illinois state Rep. Mary Flowers (D) has introduced new legislation that would force insurance companies that cover prescriptions for Viagra to also cover prescriptions for oral contraceptives.
Many insurance companies cover at least a portion of Viagra's cost, yet deny coverage of contraceptives that would actually lower medical costs through a reduction in costly unplanned pregnancies. Flowers charges that Viagra is "not medically necessary" while "the prevention of pregnancy can have health benefits for women," and has accused insurance companies of unjust discrimination against women.
A spokesperson for the Illinois Association of HMOs denies that such policies are discriminatory, arguing that Viagra "treats a medical condition" and that "contraception is more of a therapeutic prescription." The Catholic Conference of Illinois has joined the HMO association in opposition to the bill, arguing that "artificial birth control is inappropriate and mandating insurance coverage is something we would be opposed to."
Illinois' Governor, House Speaker, and Senate President have not yet indicated their position on Flowers' legislation.
Media Resources: Chicago Tribune - February 22, 1999
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .