Sen. Reid Renews Fight for Equal Health Care Coverage for Women
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) reintroduced the Equity in Prescription Contraceptive Coverage Act—an effort he launched in 1997 that would require HMOs, employee health benefit plans and other insurers to cover all FDA approved contraceptive drugs and devices. In a press release, Sen. Reid said, “Despite the progress we have made as a nation in expanding equality for all American’s, millions of women in our nation still face discrimination from insurers who will not cover the cost of prescription contraception. Only the enactment of this legislation will ensure that contraceptive coverage is readily available to all women regardless of their insurance provider.”
Reid’s bill, which is co-sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) would also require insurers to cover outpatient contraceptive services and would prohibit insurers from imposing co-payments or deductibles for prescription contraceptives that were higher than for other covered services, products or prescriptions. Reid cited that the recently released men’s impotency drug Viagra is covered by many insurance companies, yet prescription contraceptives for women, which have been available for 30 years, are still not covered by many health care plans.
Media Resources: Sen. Reid Press Release – January 24, 2001
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .