National Partnership for Women & Families

Refusal Provisions | In the News

A number of states have made or are considering significant cuts to family planning services. Some states have also barred family planning funds from going to clinics that are affiliated with providers that offer abortion services, such as Planned Parenthood. These restrictions limit access to important preventive health services such as contraception, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and STI testing and treatment, simply because the facilities also provide abortion care or referrals. States also prohibit facilities that receive state funds from hiring doctors who provide abortion care, even if not at that facility, causing them to lose medical staff.

Mich. Lawmakers Propose Legislation To Reduce Unintended Pregnancies
Lawmakers in Michigan on Wednesday unveiled multiple bills aimed at reducing unintended pregnancies in the state, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Featured Blogs
"Oregon's Over-the-Counter Birth Control Legislation Is Missing One Critical Component," (Yurcaba, Bustle, 7/19); "Feminists Fought Back Against Anti-Abortion Extremists in Alabama Last Week," ("Feminist Wire," Ms. Magazine, 7/20); "The 4 Best States For Reproductive Rights Are Where We Should All Move, Stat," (Holter, Bustle, 7/20).

Texas Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Funding Uncertain
Several Texas not-for-profits are slated to receive about $9 million in federal funding for teenage pregnancy prevention, though whether the groups will continue to receive the funding in years to come is uncertain, the Medill News Service/Texas Tribune reports.

Editorial: Improved Contraceptive Access Helps Combat Income Inequality
Conservative lawmakers' "intransigence on reproductive rights isn't simply a women's battle, but it is [low-income] women and families who bear the brunt of its misguided policies -- policies that deepen the cycle of generational poverty," a Battle Creek Enquirer editorial states.

Colo. Family Planning Program Linked to Lower Teenage Pregnancy, Abortion Rates
A program designed to increase access to long-acting contraceptives in Colorado has had "startling" results, with the state's teen birth rate dropping by 40% between 2009 and 2013, the New York Times reports .

Featured Blogs
"Texas Abortion Case Reaches the Court," (Denniston, SCOTUSblog, 6/19); "Montana Abortion Clinic Vandal Sentenced to Prison," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 6/19); "All States Should Offer One-Year Supplies of Birth Control," (Sosa, Care2, 6/21).

Ore. Governor Signs Bill To Improve Contraceptive Access
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) on Thursday signed a bill (HB 3343) requiring insurers to cover a 12 months' supply of contraception in a single dispersal, the Huffington Post reports.

Ore. Senate, House Advance Measures To Improve Contraceptive Access
The Oregon Senate on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve a bill (HB 3343) that would require insurers to cover a 12 months' supply of contraception at a time, KMTR News reports.

D.C. Council Approves Bill To Allow Pharmacies To Dispense Year's Worth of Contraceptives
The Washington, D.C., City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to legislation that would require health plans in the District to authorize pharmacies to dispense up to a one-year supply of contraceptives at one time, the Washington Post reports.

Colo. Officials Pledge Family Planning Program Will Continue
Health officials in Colorado have said a state program providing long-acting reversible contraceptives to low-income women will continue despite funding concerns, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Ore. House, Senate Advance Measures To Improve Birth Control Access
An Oregon House committee on Wednesday voted 7-0 to advance legislation (HB 2879-7) that would permit women to obtain contraception without a prescription from a physician, AP/KOIN News reports.

Calif. Law Could Improve Birth Control Access
A 2013 California law (SB 493) is scheduled to take effect in the next few weeks that will allow pharmacists in the state to distribute contraception without requiring a prescription from a physician, Governing reports.

Oregon Lawmakers Propose Measure To Improve Birth Control Access
The Oregon House Rules Committee has revived a proposal that would, like the California law, allow women to obtain contraception without a physician prescription, the AP/KTVZ News reports.

N.M. Committee Report Calls for Greater Investment in Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs
A New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee report released last week calls on the state Legislature to invest in programs that will reduce teenage pregnancies and support teenage mothers, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.

Featured Blogs
"The Worst State for Reproductive Rights" (Khazan, The Atlantic, 5/12); "The Family Planning Cuts That the Texas Legislature Forced Through Are Having Dire Consequences" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 5/12); "California Judge: Abstinence-Only Sex Education Isn't Sex Education at All" (Kutner, Salon, 5/13).

Iowa House Committee Advances Budget Blocking Abortion Providers From Family Planning Program
An Iowa House committee on Tuesday advanced a state health and human services budget (SF 505) that would prevent abortion providers from participating in a family planning program, the AP/Omaha World-Herald reports.

Report: More Than Half of Texas Women Face Barriers to Reproductive Health Services
More than 50% of Texas women encountered at least one barrier while trying to access reproductive health services in the years following the state's overhaul of its family planning services program, according to a recent report from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, the Kaiser Health News/Texas Tribune reports.

N.Y. AG Proposes Bill To Codify ACA's Contraceptive Coverage Benefits Into State Law
New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) on Monday proposed a bill that would codify the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) contraceptive coverage rules into state law and add additional birth control benefits and protections, the New York Daily News reports.

Report Ranks All 50 States, D.C. on State of Reproductive Rights
Oregon is the best state for reproductive rights, while South Dakota is the worst, according to an Institute for Women's Policy Research report, the Washington Post's "GovBeat" reports.

Colo. Senate Panel Kills Funding Bill for Family Planning Program
The Colorado Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted 3-2 to kill a measure (HB 15-1194) that would have provided $5 million in funding for a program that helps improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives among low-income women in the state, the Durango Herald reports.

Texas Policy Update Could Help Reduce Barriers to IUD Access
A change to physician reimbursements in Texas has made intrauterine devices more accessible to low-income women and teenagers, KERA News reports.

Featured Blogs
"Millennials Lead a Texas-Sized Movement for Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice" (Perez, National Partnership for Women & Families' blog, 4/29), "Colorado's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program Works, and That's Why Conservatives Want to Kill It,"(Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/28), "Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder" (Marty, Care2, 4/28) and "Montana Governor Vetoes Telemedicine Abortion Ban" (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 4/29).

"Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder"
"Michigan Continues Trend of Investigating Miscarriages as Murder" (Marty, Care2, 4/28).

Ohio County Approves Contract with Planned Parenthood for LARC Pilot Program
Uninsured and underinsured women in Mahoning County, Ohio, will have access to long-acting reversible contraceptives via a new Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio pilot program, the Youngstown Vindicator reports.

Colo. House Approves Contraception Program Funding Measure
The Colorado House on Monday voted 37-26 to pass a measure (HB 15-1194) that would allocate $5 million in funding to continue a family planning program in the state, the Durango Herald reports.

Ill. Bill Would Require Catholic Hospitals To Inform Patients About Alternative Options
Illinois lawmakers are considering legislation (SB 1564) that would require hospitals to inform patients that they can go to another facility to receive certain medical services, such as contraceptives, that violate a hospital's religious beliefs, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Ore. Creates Workgroup To Discuss Birth Control Access Measure
An Oregon House committee on Friday rejected an amendment that would allow women to obtain hormonal contraception from a pharmacist without a prescription and assigned the proposal to a workgroup, the Mid-Valley Statesman Journal reports.

Featured Blogs
"California Bill Would Require Crisis Pregnancy Centers To Discuss Abortion Options," (Liss-Schultz, RH Reality Check, 4/16); "'Marlise's Law' Could Give End-of-Life Rights to Pregnant Texans," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 4/15); "Anti-Choicers Are Going To Take Away Second-Trimester Abortion Without Much Notice," (Marcotte, RH Reality Check, 4/16).

Ore. Comprehensive Women's Health Bill Misses Legislative Deadline, Dead for This Session
A bill (SB 894) aimed at closing gaps in reproductive health coverage for Oregon women is effectively dead in the state Legislature, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.

Colo. Budget Committee Rejects Budget Funding Provision for Family Planning Program
A Colorado budget committee on Tuesday rejected a $5 million budget provision that would continue a family planning program in the state, the Denver Post's "The Spot" reports.

Calif. Lawmakers Propose Bill To Crack Down on Misinformation by Crisis Pregnancy Centers
California lawmakers have introduced a bill (AB 775) that aims to ensure antiabortion-rights crisis pregnancy centers do not provide women with misleading information, the Bay City News reports.

Colo. House Adds $5M for Family Planning Program to State Budget Proposal
Colorado House lawmakers voted 35-30 to include $5 million in the state budget to continue a family planning program, the Denver Post reports.

Future of Colo. Family Planning Initiative Remains Uncertain
The Colorado Senate has approved a budget that includes $5 million for a program that provides contraception to low-income and uninsured women, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Maine Lawmakers Consider Bill To Expand Medicaid Reproductive Health Coverage
A Maine legislative committee is considering a measure (LD 319) that would expand coverage for reproductive health services to state residents with incomes below 209% of the federal poverty level, MPBN News reports.

Ark. House Approves Bill To Block Public Funding for Women's Health Clinics
The Arkansas House on Thursday voted 70-8 to approve a bill that would prohibit health centers that offer abortions or provide abortion referrals from receiving state or federal funds, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Women's Health Advocates Call on Ore. Legislature To Pass Comprehensive Women's Health Bill
Women's health advocates on Wednesday marched to the Oregon Capitol to show support for a measure (SB 894) aimed at closing gaps in reproductive health coverage for women in the state, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.

Texas House Panel Mulls Bill To Expand Teen Access to Birth Control
The Texas House State Affairs Committee last week heard testimony on legislation (HB 468) that would expand access to birth control for teenage parents, Public News Service reports.

Colo. Senate Panel Blocks Teen Pregnancy Prevention Bill
Colorado's Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday voted 3-2 to reject a bipartisan bill (HB 1079) that would have expanded a state program aimed at curbing teenage pregnancy and reducing the high school dropout rate, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Ark. Senate Advances Bill To Block Public Funding for Women's Health Clinics
The Arkansas Senate on Monday voted 26-5 to approve a bill (SB 569) that would prohibit health centers that offer abortions or provide abortion referrals from receiving state or federal funds, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.

Iowa Abortion Restrictions Fail To Meet Legislative Deadline
Multiple proposed abortion restrictions in Iowa are effectively dead for this legislative session after the measures were not approved by state's Legislature first deadline to advance bills on Thursday, the Des Moines Register reports.

N.H. Senate Tables Bill on Employer Disclosure of Contraceptive Coverage Options
The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday in a 12-12 vote tabled a bill (SB 42) that would have required employers to inform job candidates whether they offer contraceptive coverage in employee health plans, AP/Miami Herald reports.

Featured Blogs
"Repro Wrap: Babies Aren't in Your Stomach and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 2/27); "Losing My Lege: These Bills are the Icing on the Hate-Cake" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 2/27).

Ore. Lawmakers Announce Comprehensive Women's Health Bill
A group of Oregon lawmakers on Friday announced legislation aimed at closing gaps in reproductive health care coverage for women in the state, the Portland Business Journal reports.

Neb. Senate Rejects Medicaid Family Planning Expansion Bill
The Nebraska Senate on Thursday voted 23-21 against a bill (LB 77) that would have made health screening and contraceptive services more accessible to low-income women, NET reports.

Minn. Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Protect Contraceptive Coverage Access
Minnesota legislators have introduced a bill (HF 1165) that would require most employers in the state to include all FDA-approved contraceptives in their health insurance plans at no additional cost to employees, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Colo. House Committee Advances Bill To Preserve Funding for State Family Planning Initiative
A Colorado House committee on Tuesday voted 8-5 to advance a bill (HB 15-1194) that would use $5 million from the state's general fund to continue a program that helps improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives among low-income women, the Denver Post reports.

N.H. House Kills Bill To Defund Facilities That Provide, Refer Patients for Abortion
The New Hampshire House on Wednesday voted 216-142 to reject a measure (HB 677) that would have defunded family planning and health centers across the state, the New Hampshire Union Leader reports.

Featured Blogs
"Hobby Lobby 2: Inside Republicans' Plan To Kill America's Most Effective Anti-Teen-Pregnancy Program" (Baumann, Mother Jones, 2/11); "Report Finds 'Shockingly Substandard' Reproductive Health Care in New York Prisons" (Greenberg, RH Reality Check, 2/13); "Repro Wrap: D&E Bans are Just Grandstanding and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 2/13).

Neb. Sen. Introduces Bill To Expand Medicaid Coverage of Family Planning Services
Nebraska Sen. Jeremy Nordquist has introduced a bill (LB 77) that would expand Medicaid coverage for contraceptives in the state, the AP/Miami Herald reports.

Wash. Medical School Bill Stalls Amid Effort To Ensure Reproductive Health Instruction
A vote on a widely supported Washington bill (HB 1559) to authorize a new medical school was delayed last week after a state lawmaker asked the school to pledge that it would not restrict instruction on certain topics because of partnerships with religiously affiliated hospitals, the Seattle Times' "Politics Northwest" reports.

Conservative, Catholic Groups Urge Congress To Overturn D.C. Reproductive Health Protections
More than a dozen conservative organizations and Catholic groups on Thursday sent a letter to House lawmakers urging them to overturn two Washington, D.C., laws passed last year, including a reproductive health non-discrimination measure (B20-0790), the Washington Post's "District Of DeBonis" reports.

Colo. Teen Pregnancy Prevention Bill Advances
The Colorado House Finance Committee on Thursday voted 10-1 to approve a bipartisan measure (HB 1079) that would expand the state's Teen Pregnancy and Dropout Prevention pilot program, the Colorado Independent reports.

Judge: Colo. Companies Allowed To Deny Contraceptive Coverage
A federal judge on Tuesday, citing a Supreme Court ruling issued last year, has approved requests by three Colorado companies to exclude coverage for sterilization and contraceptives in their employee health plans, the AP/KUSA reports.

Colo. Lawmaker Works To Secure Family Planning Initiative
Colorado Rep. KC Becker (D) said she intends to propose a bill that would use $5 million from the state's general fund to continue a program that helps improve access to long-acting reversible contraceptives among low-income women, the Coloradoan reports.

Va. Bill To Expand Access to Contraception Stalled
The Virginia Senate Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday effectively killed a state Senate bill aimed at expanding access to contraception by sending the measure to the state's Health Insurance Reform Commission, the Hampton Roads Daily Press reports.

Neb. Bill Seeks Medicaid Waiver To Expand Family Planning Services
A Nebraska lawmaker on Thursday proposed a bill (LB 77) that aims to make family planning and preventive health screening more accessible to low-income women in the state, the Lincoln Journal Star reports.

N.H. Bill Would Defund All Facilities That Perform, Refer Patients for Abortion
A bill introduced in the New Hampshire Legislature this session could defund family planning and health centers across the state, Foster's Daily Democrat reports.

Featured Blogs
"Five States Allow Women's Health Medicaid Programs To Lapse," (Molozanov, "RegBlog," Penn Program on Regulation, 1/7); "Fifth Circuit Panel Peppers Attorneys With Tough Questions on Texas Abortion Law," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 1/7).

Featured Blog: 'Five States Allow Women's Health Medicaid Programs To Lapse'
Dori Molozanov writes that the expiration of some Medicaid waiver programs at the end of 2014 means that "[w]omen in five states" -- Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Oregon and Pennsylvania -- "may be without affordable access to important health and family planning services, including routine cancer screenings and contraception."

D.C. Council Bills Would End Surrogacy Ban, Allow One-Year Birth Control Supply
Measures to ease Washington, D.C.'s restrictions on surrogacy and allow women to access a larger supply of birth control in one prescription were among the bills proposed by D.C. Council members as a new term started Tuesday, the Washington Post reports.

Group of Wash. Senators Aims To Protect Contraceptive Coverage Rules
A group of Democratic state senators in Washington is expecting a difficult fight this session over their effort to ensure that women have access to contraceptive coverage, MyNorthwest.com reports.

Groups Converge To Back Proactive Reproductive Health Agenda
bout 60 women's health organizations have formed a coalition to urge state lawmakers to back policies supporting women's health and reproductive rights, the Latin Post reports.

D.C. Mayor Requests Legal Review of Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Bill
Washington, D.C., Mayor Vincent Gray (D) has asked the district's Office of the Attorney General to review a reproductive health non-discrimination measure (B20-0790) before he takes any further action on it, the Washington Times reports.

Group Seeks Records on Wis. Decision To Not Enforce State Contraception Coverage Law
The Freedom From Religion Foundation on Wednesday filed a lawsuit requesting records related to a decision by Wisconsin officials to not enforce the state's contraceptive coverage law for certain employers, the AP/Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"The War on Reproductive Rights Will Get a Lot Uglier Next Year" (Redden, Mother Jones, 12/18); "D.C. Council Prohibits Employment Discrimination Based on Reproductive Health Choices" (Crockett, RH Reality Check, 12/18).

D.C. City Council Passes Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Bill
The D.C. City Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a measure (B20-0790) aimed at preventing employers from interfering with workers' access to abortion, contraception and other reproductive health services and coverage, Politico Pro reports.

20-Week Abortion Ban, Other Bills on Wis. Anti-Choice Groups' Legislative Agendas
With conservatives retaining control of Wisconsin's Legislature, antiabortion-rights groups intend to push proposals that failed last year, as well as introduce new measures, the AP/HTR News reports.

Minn. Company Granted Injunction Against Contraceptive Coverage; State Lawmaker Plans Legislative Response
A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that a Minnesota car dealership does not have to comply with the federal contraceptive coverage rules being implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) because of the owner's religious objections to certain contraceptives, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Featured Blogs
"Repro Wrap: Activists Celebrate Victories in Clinic Access and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 12/5); "The Newest Crisis Pregnancy Center Offer: 'Abortion Reversals'" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 12/8).

Minn. Company Granted Injunction Against Contraceptive Coverage Rules
A U.S. District Court has granted a Minnesota manufacturing company a permanent injunction from the federal contraceptive coverage rules being implemented under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) because of the owner's religious objections to birth control, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

Ore. Initiative Seeks Improved Data on Contraceptive Use
Oregon next month is launching an initiative to gather better data on contraceptive use and to encourage health care providers to talk with women who wish to avoid pregnancy about the most effective methods to do so, OPBNews reports.

Successful Colo. Family Planning Program Faces Uncertain Future
Colorado Democrats are fighting to continue funding for a program credited with lowering the state's teen birth rate amid some Republicans' resistance to continuing the program, the AP/Denver Post reports.

Parental Notification Bill Planned in Nev.
Antiabortion-rights activists in Nevada will pursue a parental involvement bill during the 2015 state legislative session, although it is unclear if such a measure would pass or be signed into law by the governor, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Wis. Family Planning Providers Say State Audits Appear Politically Motivated, Place Clinics at Risk
Safety-net family planning providers in Wisconsin and some state lawmakers say state audits alleging that two clinic operators overbilled Medicaid are politically motivated, the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism/Green Bay Press Gazette reports.

Wash. Defends Emergency Contraception Stocking Rules in Long-Running Lawsuit
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday heard arguments in a lawsuit challenging Washington state regulations (WAC 246-869-010) that require pharmacies to provide timely access to emergency contraception, the Oregonian reports.

Voters 'Strongly Favor' Access to Abortion, Contraceptives, USA Today Op-Ed Argues
Although abortion-rights opponents "now have the majority in the U.S. House, the Senate and expanded power in state legislatures across the country," voters in last week's midterm elections showed "once again ... that when it comes to personal decisions about pregnancy, health, and family, they strongly favor ... access to legal and affordable birth control and abortion," Kimberly Inez McGuire, director of public affairs at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, writes in a USA Today opinion piece.

Ill. Voters Signal Support for Contraceptive Coverage
A solid majority of Illinois voters on Tuesday approved an advisory ballot measure expressing support for requiring health plans that cover prescription drugs to cover contraceptives, WAND 17 reports.

NYT's Collins: Election had Some Bright Spots for Reproductive Rights
While the midterm election results included a lot of negative news for Democrats and their agenda, there is also "a school of thought that believes Tuesday was actually a great day for reproductive rights," New York Times columnist Gail Collins writes.

Featured Blogs
"Pennsylvania May Drop Birth Control Coverage for Thousands of Low-Income Women," (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 10/29); "Abortion Options in North Dakota Are Dwindling," (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 10/30).

Wash. Senators' 'Winning Legal Argument' Could Trump Hobby Lobby Ruling, Editorial States
A group of state senators in Washington plans to introduce a bill in the 2015 legislative session that would "overturn the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision in the state," which they hope will "prevent discrimination against women by employers who refuse to offer contraceptive coverage in their health-care plans," an editorial in the Olympian states.

Abortion, Contraception Key Issues in Close Iowa Race for U.S. Senate
Abortion rights have become a central issue in the final weeks of Iowa's close race to fill retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin's seat, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

Lawmakers Should 'Get Behind Teen Pregnancy Prevention Efforts,' Editorial Argues
The teen pregnancy rate is at a historic low because teenagers have access to "more complete sex education and better access to and use of contraceptives" than in the past, according to a Charlotte Observer editorial.

Supporters, Opponents of Abortion Rights Disagree Over Potential Effects of Colorado 'Personhood' Amendment
Opponents of a proposed "personhood" amendment (Amendment 67) in Colorado say the ballot measure could further restrict abortion rights, contrary to the claims of many supporters of the measure, Colorado Public Radio reports.

NYT Weighs In on State Antiabortion-Rights Ballot Measures
Voters in three states next month will consider "ballot measures aimed at ending or severely limiting abortion rights," a New York Times editorial states, referencing referendums in Colorado, North Dakota and Tennessee.

Wash. Lawmakers Plan Bill To Protect Contraceptive Access
Washington state Democratic lawmakers plan to introduce legislation next year aimed at protecting women's access to contraception in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, the Seattle Times' "Healthcare Checkup" reports.

Calif. Gov. Signs Bills To Address Contraceptive Coverage Gaps
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday signed a bill (SB 1053) into law that requires health plans in the state to cover contraceptive methods and services without out-of-pocket costs, delays or other restrictions, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Calif. Gov. Signs Bills To End Inmate Sterilizations
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Thursday signed a bill (SB 1135) into law that prohibits sterilization surgeries among the state's inmates without their consent, Reuters reports.

N.D. Voters To Consider 'Personhood' Amendment
Voters in North Dakota will consider a personhood amendment (SCR 4009) that would change the state's constitution to protect "the inalienable right to life of every human being at any stage of development," Mother Jones reports.

Colo. Voters To Weigh 'Personhood' Amendment for Third Time
Voters in Colorado will consider a "personhood" amendment (Amendment 67) that would change the state's constitution to protect "pregnant women and unborn children by defining 'person' and 'child' in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado Wrongful Death Act to include unborn human beings," Mother Jones reports.

Featured Blog
"Texas Planned Parenthood Clinics Rebrand in Hopes of Public Funds," (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 9/15).

Planned Parenthood Launches Video Service for Contraceptive Consultations
Planned Parenthood recently launched an online service that allows Minnesota and Washington residents to receive contraceptives after a video appointment with a health care provider, the Huffington Post reports.

Featured Blog
"Doctors Aren't Dummies: Support the Patient Trust Act," (Michelman, Huffington Post blogs, 9/10).

Mich. Lawmakers Propose Contraceptive Coverage Disclosure Bills
Michigan lawmakers are proposing legislation that would require employers in the state to provide information about contraceptive coverage options to all current and prospective employees, the AP/Washington Times reports.

Ill. To Work With Catholic Providers Over Concerns About Medicaid Birth Control Referrals
Illinois Medicaid officials are working out the details of a plan to raise provider reimbursement rates for certain contraceptives while ensuring that patients at Catholic hospitals can obtain referrals for contraceptive services, the AP/CBS News reports.

Wash. Hospital Revises Policies on Catholic Directives After Pressure From ACLU
Providence Health and Services, a Catholic-affiliated health care system, has agreed to change provisions of its partnership with Washington State University to remove restrictions on certain health care services that go against Catholic doctrine at a new clinic, Modern Healthcare reports.

Featured Blogs
"Illinois Commits To Protect Pregnant Workers," (Martin, "Womenstake," NWLC, 8/26); "'Hobby Lobby' Aftermath: Illinois Seeks To Expand Birth Control Access," (Wilson, RH Reality Check, 8/26).

Ill. Revises Medicaid Rules To Boost Access
The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services on Wednesday proposed a plan that aims to increase access to long-acting contraceptive methods by raising Medicaid provider reimbursements for contraceptive services, the Chicago Tribune/Kaiser Health News reports.

Washington Post's 'Storyline' Examines Colo. Policies for Pregnant Teens
The Washington Post's "Storyline" examines how Colorado's family planning policies have improved teens' access to long-acting reversible contraceptives and helped to lower its teen birth rates.

State Lawmakers Mobilize To Protect Contraceptive Access After Hobby Lobby
State lawmakers are working to protect women's access to contraception in response to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, which allows some for-profit companies to exclude contraceptive coverage from their employer-sponsored health plans based on their owners' religious objections, Politico Pro reports.

States' Abortion Restrictions Used as Wedge in Senate Races
While this year's Senate races lack abortion-related disputes on the scale of former Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) "legitimate rape" comments, candidates from both parties are using state abortion measures to attack their opponents, Politico reports.

Calif. Bill Aims To Protect Contraceptive Coverage
A California Assembly committee is considering a bill (SB 1053) that would require health plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptive methods, Capital Public Radio reports.

Texas Rule Aims To Increase IUDs, Implant Access for Low-Income Women
A change to Texas' Medicaid program and the state's Women's Health Program aims to increase access to long-acting reversible contraceptives, including intrauterine devices and implants, Kaiser Health News/Texas Tribune reports.

N.Y. Will Allow Medicaid Reimbursements for Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives for New Mothers
New York has joined five other states in making it easier for new mothers in the Medicaid program to access long-acting reversible contraceptives after giving birth, NPR's "Shots" reports.

Ohio Democrats To Propose Bill Mandating Employers Cover Contraceptives
Ohio Democrats in the House and Senate plan to introduce a bill that would require small and mid-sized companies in the state to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Wis. Will No Longer Enforce State Contraceptive Coverage Requirements for Companies With Religious Objections
In light of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby ruling, Wisconsin officials will no longer enforce a state law that requires insurers to cover prescribed contraceptives for companies that have religious objections to such medications, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Texas Considers How To Streamline Reproductive Health Services for Low-Income Women
Texas lawmakers are weighing how to restore gaps in health care access for low-income women in the state, three years after they cut the state's family planning budget and rejected a federally funded women's health program in favor of a state-operated program, the Texas Tribune/New York Times reports.

N.Y. Officials Propose Contraceptive Coverage Notification Bill
New York's attorney general and a top Democratic lawmaker have proposed legislation that would require employers to notify employees 90 days before changing their contraceptive coverage policies, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Colo. Family Planning Program Linked to Lower Teen Birth Rate
Women participating in a Colorado family planning program accounted for about three-fourths of a 40% drop in the state's teen birth rate between 2009 and 2012, according to state figures, Vox reports.

Ill. Gov. Approves Contraceptive Coverage Ballot Question
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Sunday approved a ballot measure that will ask state voters whether employer-sponsored health plans should be required to cover birth control, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Celebrating 10 Years of Paid Family Leave in California -- Now Let's Get the Word Out!" (Shriver, Huffington Post blogs, 7/2) and "While You Were Paying Attention to Hobby Lobby, it Got Harder To Get an Abortion" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/6).

Column: Mich. Legislature Funds CPCs While Ignoring 'Public Health Needs'
The Michigan Legislature "hasn't shown much interest in the state's shockingly high rate of unplanned pregnancy, and infant and maternal death," but it recently "approved an $800,000 contract in the 2014-15 budget 'to promote childbirth,' alternatives to abortion and abstinence education at crisis pregnancy centers," Detroit News columnist Laura Berman writes.

N.Y. Bill Would Protect Contraceptive Coverage
A New York Senate committee on Tuesday unanimously advanced a bill (S 6578) that would prohibit employers from denying reproductive health coverage in employee health plans, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Ohio House Weighs Bill Barring Abortion Coverage
The Ohio House on Tuesday considered a bill (HB 351) that would ban public and private health plans in the state from covering nearly all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest and danger to a woman's life, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Contraceptive Coverage Question Proposed for Ill. Ballot
The Illinois Senate last week approved a referendum that would ask state voters whether health insurers should be required to cover contraceptives, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Kan. Planned Parenthood Center To Close After State Blocks Federal Funding
Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri announced Friday that it will close its health center in Hays, Kan., to ensure a larger clinic in Wichita can remain open in light of a recent appeals court decision, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Poverty, Family Planning Cuts Tied to Rising Abortion Rate in Detroit
An increase in Detroit's abortion rate since 2001 likely is tied to increased poverty and reduced access to contraception, according to city public health officials, the Detroit News reports.

Future of Kan. Planned Parenthood Clinics Uncertain
U.S. and Kansas health officials said Monday that they would ensure family planning services remain available in areas served by two Planned Parenthood clinics that could close under a state law, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Calif. Bill Would Expand Contraceptive Coverage Beyond Federal Law
The California Senate is considering a bill (SB 1053) that aims to expand access to contraception by bolstering insurance coverage, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

Planned Parenthood Ordered To Pay Kansas' Legal Costs for Appeals Case
A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered a Planned Parenthood affiliate to pay Kansas $1,350 to cover legal costs from the organization's appeal of a state law that blocks federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood clinics, the AP/Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

Alaska Bill Restricting Medicaid Abortion Coverage Heads to Gov.
An Alaska bill (SB 49) that would define "medically necessary" abortions that are covered under the state's Medicaid program cleared its final legislative hurdle this week after lawmakers stripped language to expand family planning funding, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.

Okla. House Panel Advances Abortion Clinic, Emergency Contraceptive Restrictions
An Oklahoma House panel on Tuesday advanced two bills that would impose strict regulations on abortion clinics and restrict access to emergency contraception, the Tulsa World reports.

Featured Blog
"5 Simple Strategies To Reduce Teen Pregnancies That Worked in This Rural South Carolina Town" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 3/31).

Featured Blogs
"Kansas Moves To Defund Planned Parenthood and Force Doctors To Report Every Miscarriage," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 3/26); "Two Anti-Choice Candidates in Colorado Rescind Support for 'Personhood,' (Salzman, RH Reality Check, 3/26).

Appeals Court Sides With Kan. in Planned Parenthood Case
A federal appeals court on Tuesday ruled that Kansas may enforce a state law that blocks federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood clinics while a case over the merits of the law proceeds, the AP/ABC News reports.

Okla. Bill Would Set Age Limits on Emergency Contraception
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday approved a bill (SB 1219) that would prohibit individuals younger than age 17 from purchasing emergency contraception without a prescription, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Blogs Comment on Abortion Clinic Closures, 'Birth Control Truthers,' More
"Three More Abortion Clinics Forced To Close in Texas: 'This is a State of Emergency,'" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress); "Alabama Report Makes it Clear How Brutally Women Are Treated in Prison," (Marty, Care2, 3/5); "Nation's First Birthing Center/Abortion Clinic Opens in Buffalo. This Is Huge," (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 3/6).

No Indication of Wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood in La., Audit Finds
There is no evidence that Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast improperly billed Medicaid or recommended abortions in Louisiana, according to a state legislative auditor's review, the Baton Rouge Advocate reports.

Supreme Court Rejects Bid To Revive Ariz. Law Targeting Planned Parenthood
The Supreme Court on Monday declined without comment Arizona's appeal of an overturned state law (HB 2800) that barred organizations that provide abortions from offering other services through the state's Medicaid program, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Featured Blogs
"Could This Be the Year the Pro-Choice Movement Goes on the Offensive?" (Dusenbery, Feministing, 2/24), "Supreme Court Turns Away Arizona Planned Parenthood Funding Ban" ((Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/24) and "Repro Wrap: Here Come the Personhood Bids Again and Other News" (Marty, Care2, 2/21).

Advocates Dispute Texas' Claims on Women's Health Access
Texas lawmakers and health policy advocates have presented contrasting views of the state's progress in ensuring women's access to reproductive health services, the Texas Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Texas Judge Rules Brain Dead Pregnant Woman Must Be Taken Off Life Support" (Robin Marty, Care2, 1/24), "Bill Regulating Certified Professional Midwives Needs a Push" (Judy Norsigian, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog" 1/27) and "New Law Could Force All of Louisiana's Abortion Clinics To Close" (Zoe Carpenter, The Nation, 1/27).

Featured Blogs
"Judge to Texas Women: Living 150 Miles From an Abortion Clinic is No Big Deal if You Drive Fast" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 1/7), "Salon's Guide To Convincing Free-Market Ideologues To Support Reproductive Rights" (Katie McDonough, Salon, 1/9) and "REPORT: The United States Scores a Measly C- on Reproductive Health Care" (Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 1/9).

Six-Year Fight Over Wash. Emergency Contraception Law Could Hinge on Upcoming Supreme Court Cases
A six-year legal battle over a Washington state rule requiring pharmacies to dispense emergency contraception when requested is in limbo until the Supreme Court rules on challenges to the Affordable Care Act's (PL 111-148) federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Olympian reports.

Calif. Family Planning Clinics Grapple With Shrinking Reimbursements
Funding changes and the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) are compounding financial challenges for California's family planning clinics, the California Report reports.

Featured Blogs
"More Abortion Restrictions Were Enacted From 2011 to 2013 Than in the Entire Previous Decade" (Gold/Nash, RH Reality Check, 1/6); "Fifth Circuit Judges Hear Arguments on Texas' Omnibus Anti-Abortion Law" (Grimes, RH Reality Check, 1/6); "Texas Family Describes 'Pure Hell' of Being Forced To Keep Their Loved One on Life Support" (McDonough, Salon, 1/6); and As Abortion Providers Are Under Attack, Fake Anti-Choice Clinics Are Gaining Ground" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 1/2).

Enrollment, Claims Drop After Texas Launches State-Run Women's Health Program
Enrollment in the Texas Women's Health Program, as well as claims for birth control services and wellness exams, have declined since the state prohibited Planned Parenthood clinics and other affiliates of abortion providers from participating in the program, according to data from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Tribune reports.

Supreme Court Review Sought for Ariz. Law Restricting Medicaid Payments to Women's Health Providers
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne (R) on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to review a federal appeals court's ruling blocking a law (HB 2800) that would bar organizations that provide abortions from participating in the state's Medicaid program, the Arizona Republic reports.

Next Va. Gov. Will Decide Abortion Clinics' Fate, Washington Post Editorial States
Two of Virginia's busiest abortion clinics have already closed, and if state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) were elected governor, "most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months," a Washington Post editorial states.

Va. AG Cuccinelli's 'Moderate' Stance in Governor's Race Belies Past Actions, Editorial States
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) recent efforts to cast himself as a moderate in the state's gubernatorial election run counter to "his past positions on abortion and birth control," which include supporting a "personhood" measure when he was a state senator, a Washington Post editorial states.

Upcoming Ky. Rally Aims To Show Support for Reproductive Rights
Reproductive-rights supporters in Kentucky are staging a Nov. 2 rally at the state Capitol to gain attention from state legislators, WFPL reports.

Calif. Gov. Brown Signs Bills Expanding Abortion Access, Ensuring Same-Sex Couples Receive Coverage for Assisted Reproduction
Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown (D) on Wednesday signed into law a bill (AB 154) that aims to expand abortion access by allowing certain non-physician health care providers to perform first-trimester abortions, the Sacramento Bee reports.

Ohio Women Rally Against State Budget's Abortion Restrictions
Women's rights advocates rallied at the Ohio Statehouse on Wednesday against state budget provisions that they said are threatening women's health and rights, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Featured Blogs
"Cline Symposium: Oklahoma Law Could Force Doctors To Provide Substandard Medical Care to Women Using Medications To End a Pregnancy" (Jennifer Blasdell/Nancy Stanwood, SCOTUSblog, 9/20) and "California Governor was Right To Veto Bill Allowing Researchers To Pay Women for Their Eggs" (Marcy Darnovsky/Susan Berke Fogel, Our Bodies Ourselves' "Our Bodies, Our Blog," 9/5).

Ohio Democrats Say Antiabortion Budget Provisions Among 'Most Aggressive' in U.S.
Four Ohio House Democrats last week heard testimony on concerns regarding abortion restrictions in the state budget that will take effect at the end of September, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Next Va. Gov. Will Decide Abortion Clinics' Fate, Washington Post Editorial States
Two of Virginia's busiest abortion clinics have already closed, and if state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) "is elected governor in November, most of the remaining 18 clinics are likely to shut their doors within months," a Washington Post editorial states.

Va. AG Cuccinelli's 'Moderate' Stance in Governor's Race Belies Past Actions, Editorial States
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's (R) recent efforts to cast himself as a moderate in the state's gubernatorial election run counter to "his past positions on abortion and birth control," which include supporting a "personhood" measure when he was a state senator, a Washington Post editorial states.

Judge Blocks Okla. Emergency Contraception Law
An Oklahoma judge on Monday issued a temporary injunction to block enforcement of a state law that imposes age and other restrictions on access to emergency contraception, the New York Times reports.

Lawsuit Challenges Okla. Emergency Contraception Restrictions
Reproductive-rights advocates on Thursday filed a lawsuit seeking to block an Oklahoma law that limits access to emergency contraception, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Texas Family Planning Funding Remains Inadequate as Clinics Struggle Under Restrictions
Although Texas lawmakers have restored family planning funding in the 2014-2015 state budget, clinics continue to struggle from drastic cuts in 2011 and a state law that bars "abortion affiliated providers" from receiving the money, the Texas Tribune/New York Times reports.

Texas Women's Health Program Sees Fewer Claims Since Excluding Planned Parenthood
The number of medical and family planning services claims filed for Texas' Women's Health Program has declined since state lawmakers prohibited Planned Parenthood clinics from participating in the program, according to figures from the state's Health and Human Services Commission, Kaiser Health News/Texas Tribune reports.

California Health Providers Haven't Seen Uptick in Contraception Demand Related to New Laws
Demand for contraception has not increased in California, despite the enactment of several state and federal laws aimed at increasing access to birth control, HealthyCal reports.

Featured Blogs
"Federal Court Blocks North Dakota Law That Would Ban Abortion as Early as Six Weeks" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Solutions in Search of a Problem: Texas Is Latest to Enact Rules Aimed at Shutting Down Abortion Providers" (Cohen, RH Reality Check, 7/19); "Legal Wrap: States Ramp Up Anti-Abortion Activity, Again" (Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 7/22); "Despite North Carolina's Attack On Abortion Clinics, Planned Parenthood Pledges To Stay Open" (Culp-Ressler, "Think Progress," Center for American Progress, 7/19); and "Thanks To Better Sex Ed, California's Teen Birth Rate Has Plummeted By 60 Percent" (Culp-Ressler, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 7/19).

Emergency Contraception Offered Through NYC Schools Long Before Plan B Decision
Although the Obama administration just last month agreed to allow over-the-counter sales of the emergency contraceptive Plan B One-Step to minors, a program in New York City schools has put the idea into practice for several years, the New York Times reports.

Featured Blogs
"The Texas Spring: How Wendy Davis Is Taking on the Good Ole Boys" (Norris, Huffington Post blogs, 6/28) and "Ohio Simultaneously Makes It Harder To Prevent a Pregnancy and Harder To Terminate One" (Marcotte, "XX Factor," Slate, 7/1).

Ohio. Gov. Kasich Signs Budget Restrictions on Abortion, Family Planning Funding
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) on Sunday signed a two-year, $62 billion state budget (HB 59) that includes new abortion restrictions and a provision that will essentially block federal family planning funding from Planned Parenthood, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Mo. Law Allows Pharmacies To Not Stock Emergency Contraception
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (R) last week signed a bill (SB 126) that allows pharmacy owners to refuse to carry certain drugs, such as emergency contraception, AP/KSDK reports.

Fetal Heartbeat Provision Added to Ohio Budget; Gov. Noncommittal on Signing
An Ohio joint conference committee on Tuesday approved a budget bill after adding a provision that would require women seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound to try to detect a fetal heartbeat, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

Ohio Budget Bill Would Cut Funding To Family Planning Clinics
The Ohio Legislature is advancing a budget bill with language that would place family planning clinics last in line for federal and state funding, NPR's "All Things Considered" reports.

Featured Blogs
"Supreme Court Considers Entering Mandatory Ultrasound Debate" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 6/18) and "Now That Plan B is Available to all Women, Conservatives Want To Restrict it on the State Level" (Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 6/19).

N.J. Senate Committee Passes Bill To Restore Family Planning Funding
The New Jersey Senate Budget Committee on Tuesday passed legislation (S 2825) that would restore $7.5 million for family planning services for low-income women, the North Jersey Record reports.

Appeals Court Expresses Skepticism Over Ariz. Law Barring Planned Parenthood Funding
Two federal appeals court judges on Wednesday were skeptical of a challenge to a February ruling that struck down an Arizona law (HB 2800) barring the distribution of family planning funds to organizations that provide abortions, the Seymour Tribune reports.

Featured Blogs
"Thousands of North Carolinians Protest GOP Overreach at State Capitol" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 6/11); "The Nationwide Attacks on Reproductive Rights" (Bodine, Huffington Post blogs, 6/12).

Featured Blogs
"Doctors' Group Slams Anti-Abortion Laws for 'Imposing a Political Agenda on Medical Practice'" (Tara Culp-Ressler, Center for American Progress' "ThinkProgress," 6/10) and "Nonsurgical Abortion Access To Return to Planned Parenthood in Wisconsin" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 6/7).

CMS Rejects Appeal of Indiana's Request To Block Planned Parenthood From Medicaid
CMS on Friday denied Indiana's appeal of a 2012 administrative ruling prohibiting the state from withholding Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood of Indiana and other abortion providers, the AP/Huffington Post reports.

Wis. Bill Would Limit Abortion, Contraceptive Coverage
The Wisconsin Assembly Health Committee on Wednesday heard from critics and supporters of a bill (AB 216) that would restrict health insurance coverage of abortion and contraception, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Featured Blogs
"Shh: NY Catholic Church Quietly Paying for Birth Control, Abortions" (Egan Morrissey, Jezebel, 5/28); "ACLU Challenges Arizona's Race and Sex Selection Abortion Ban" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 5/29).

Ruling Against Ind. Planned Parenthood Law Stands After Supreme Court Declines Case
The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to consider Indiana's appeal of a lower court's injunction against a state law prohibiting the distribution of Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood of Indiana, NPR's "The Two-Way" reports.

All 24 Antiabortion-Rights Bills Failed During Texas Legislative Session
None of the 24 abortion-related bills filed in the Texas Legislature this session reached the Senate or House floor, which Democrats view as a successful turnaround from Republicans' attacks on family planning funding and abortion rights in recent years, the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Featured Blog
"Oklahoma Legislature's Wrong Priorities During Crisis" (Cox, Huffington Post blogs, 5/22).

N.C. Comm. Approves Parental Consent for Birth Control, STI Treatment
The North Carolina House Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday passed a bill (HB 693) that would require minors to obtain notarized parental consent to receive treatment for various reproductive and mental health services, the Huffington Post reports.

Texas Lawmakers Broker Quiet Agreement on Women's Health Funds
Democrats and Republicans in the Texas Legislature are "quietly" working together to restore women's health funding, marking a sharp contrast from the "high-octane drama" over cuts to women's health services in recent years, the Texas Tribune/New York Times reports.

Ariz. Gov. Shifts Stance on Planned Parenthood Restrictions Under Medicaid Expansion
In a reversal, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) on Thursday said she would support an amendment to her Medicaid expansion plan that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving funds through the program, the Arizona Daily Sun reports.

Hawaii Gov. Signs Bill To Ensure Emergency Contraception Access at Hospitals
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) on Monday signed into law a bill (HB 411) that requires hospitals to provide sexual assault survivors with accurate information about emergency contraception, as well as access to it, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

Editorial Criticizes Mo. Bill That Could Hinder Emergency Contraception Access
Although a federal judge recently "overturned an Obama administration rule preventing girls younger than 17 from buying emergency contraceptive pills over the counter, ... in Missouri, a bill [SB 126] already had passed the state Senate to prevent pharmacists from having to stock such medication," a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial states.

Mont. Senate Advances Bill To Reinstate Family Planning Funding
The Montana Senate this weekend advanced a budget bill that would restore $4.6 million in family planning funds, the Billings Gazette reports.

Mo. Attorney General Declines To Appeal Ruling on State Contraceptive Coverage Law
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) on Thursday said he will not appeal a federal ruling that struck down a state law (SB 749) allowing employers and health plans to refuse to cover contraceptives on moral, ethical or religious grounds, KCUR reports.

Ariz. Gov. Blocks Amendment Defunding Planned Parenthood
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) has blocked an amendment to her Medicaid expansion plan that aimed to prohibit Planned Parenthood of Arizona from receiving public funds, Salon reports.

Opinion Piece Explores Impact of Family Planning Funding Cuts in Texas
Last week, the Texas House took an important step toward restoring 2011 budget cuts that "caused more than 55 family planning clinics across the state to close and left remaining providers with less funding and more patients in need of care," Joseph Potter -- a professor at the University of Texas-Austin -- writes in an opinion piece in the Austin Statesman.

Debate Over Ariz. Medicaid Expansion Draws Amendment To Block Planned Parenthood Funding
A conservative Arizona lobbying group is seeking to attach an amendment to Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) Medicaid expansion plan that would prohibit Planned Parenthood of Arizona from receiving public funds, the Arizona Republic reports.

Mo. Attorney General Requests Clarification in Ruling on State Contraceptive Coverage Law
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster (D) on Thursday asked a federal judge to clarify the scope of a federal ruling that struck down a state law (SB 749) allowing employers to refuse to offer health plans that cover contraception because of moral objections, the AP/KTTS reports.

Mich. Senate Bill Would Allow Insurers, Providers To Deny Contraception, Other Services
The Michigan Senate Health Policy Committee on Thursday approved a bill that would allow health care providers and insurers to refuse to cover or provide contraceptives and other services for moral, ethical or religious reasons, Interlochen Public Radio reports.

Mo. House Speaker Urges Appeal in Ruling on State Contraceptive Coverage Law
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones (R) on Wednesday urged the state's attorney general to appeal a federal ruling that struck down a state law (SB 749) allowing employers and health plans to refuse to cover contraception on moral or religious grounds, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mont. House Budget Deal Excludes Plan To Restore Federal Family Planning Funds
As part of a last-minute budget deal with the Republican majority, Montana House Democrats on Tuesday did not attempt to restore $4.6 million in federal family planning funds to a state spending bill, The Missoulian reports.

Idaho House Rejects Amendment Banning Emergency Contraception From Health Exchange Plans
The Idaho House on Wednesday voted 38-32 to reject an amendment that would have prohibited health plans offered in a state-based health insurance exchange from covering emergency contraception, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Mont. House Panel Rejects Motion To Restore Family Planning Funds
The Montana House Appropriations Committee on Monday voted 11-10 against a motion that would have restored $4.6 million in federal family planning funds that flow through the state to local health clinics, The Missoulian reports.

Hawaii Senate Approves Emergency Contraception Bill, Rejects Religious Refusal Provision
The Hawaii Senate on Tuesday approved legislation (SB 1109) that would require hospital emergency departments to provide emergency contraception to sexual assault survivors, the AP/Garden Island reports.

Neb. Committee Hesitant on Refusal Bill, Hears Testimony on Abortion Information Bill
Lawmakers on the Nebraska Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday gave a "skeptical reception" to a bill (LB 564) that would expand protections for health care workers who refuse to participate in medical services they personally oppose, including those related to abortion and contraception, Omaha World-Herald reports.

Okla. House Indefinitely Delays Bill Banning Medicaid Coverage of Emergency Contraception
The Oklahoma House on Thursday indefinitely delayed a bill (HB 2039) that would ban the state's Medicaid authority from covering emergency contraception, after the bill's sponsor raised concerns that the bill might jeopardize the state's federal Medicaid funding, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Featured Blogs
"Mandatory Ultrasound Removed From Indiana TRAP Law, but Will Probably Still Close Lafayette Clinic" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/25) and "Arizona Federal District Court Blocks Efforts To Defund Planned Parenthood" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/22).

Ala. House Passes Contraceptive Coverage Refusal Measure
The Alabama House on Tuesday voted 67-28 to approve a bill (HB 108) that would allow employers to opt out of the federal contraceptive coverage rules, the Montgomery Advertiser reports.

Funding Cuts Force Closure of Four Planned Parenthood Wisconsin Affiliates
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin on Monday announced that state budget cuts will force the closure of four family planning clinics that are the sole reproductive health care providers in their areas, the Huffington Post reports.

Featured Blogs
"State Funding Cuts and Anti-Choice Policies Cited for Closure of Four Wisconsin Planned Parenthood Clinics" (Robin Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/18), "North Dakota Attorney General Says Sex Ed Program Can Move Forward" (Jessica Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 2/18) and "State Legislatures Increasingly Provide Tax-Payer Funding of Non-Medical Crisis Pregnancy Centers" (Marty, RH Reality Check, 2/15).

Texas Health Care Providers Call for Boost in Women's Health Funding
On Wednesday, a coalition of health care providers called for additional funding to support the Texas Women's Health Program after the state blocked participation by Planned Parenthood and other providers who offer abortions, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Federal Judge Strikes Down Ariz. Law Barring Funding to Planned Parenthood
A federal judge on Friday struck down an Arizona law (HB 2800) that barred distribution of family planning funds to organizations that also provide abortions, Reuters reports.

Colo. County Prohibited EC at Family Planning Clinics, Despite Health Department's Testimony
The 2010 decision by commissioners in Weld County, Colo., to prohibit Title X family planning clinics from dispensing emergency contraception went against expert testimony stating that it does not cause an abortion, according to an investigation by the Colorado Independent.

Va. House Opts Not To Vote on Legislation Restricting Contraceptive Coverage
The Virginia House Commerce and Labor Committee on Monday declined to vote on a trio of bills (HB 1314, HB 1315, HB 1417) that would have allowed state health insurers to deny contraceptive coverage to women, the Washington Post's "Virginia Politics" reports.

Featured Blogs
"Which State Will Ban Abortion First?" (Elissa Berger, American Civil Liberties Union's "Blog of Rights," 2/2) and "New York City Public Schools Handed Out 'Morning-After Pill' To Thousands More Than Reported" (Sara Gates, Huffington Post blogs, 2/4).

Emergency Contraception Access, Other Women's Issues on Hawaiian Legislative Agenda
Hawaii's Women's Legislative Caucus on Thursday announced support for 17 bills on a range of women's issues, including breastfeeding in the workplace and access to emergency contraception, Pacific Business News' "PBN Biz Blog" reports.

Questions Raised About University's Decision To Freeze Grant for Sex Education Research
North Dakota State University is drawing scrutiny over its decision to freeze a federal grant awarded to two professors for research on a sex education program run by Planned Parenthood, Mother Jones reports.

Texas Removes Nearly a Thousand Providers From Women's Health Program Website
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has re-launched an online database of providers who participate in the state Women's Health Program, but 965 fewer doctors and clinics are included, the Texas Tribune reports.

Refusal Provisions | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health related to Refusal Provisions.

Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky
Federal court challenge to a Washington law that requires all pharmacies to carry and deliver prescription drugs, including emergency contraception.

Texas v. Sebelius
Federal court challenge to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Medicare and Medicaid's decision to end funding of Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program because Texas violated the law by refusing to allow any of the money to go to Planned Parenthood or other entities that are affiliated with abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas Family Planning and Preventative Health Services, Inc. v. Texas Health & Human Services
State court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program.

Planned Parenthood Association of Hidalgo County Texas, Inc. v. Suehs
Federal court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program

Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas v. Janek
Federal court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program as violating Plaintiffs' constitutional rights.

Balquinta v. Texas Department of State Health Services
State court challenge to a Texas rule prohibiting Planned Parenthood affiliates and other entities affiliated with abortion providers from participating in Texas' Medicaid Women's Health Program as violating state law.

Missouri Insurance Coalition v. Huff
Federal court challenge to a Missouri law requiring insurers to offer plans to that do not include contraception.

Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice v. Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy
State court challenge to a provision in an Oklahoma law (HB 2226) that requires women 17 and older to show identification to a pharmacist in order to obtain Plan B One-Step and generic emergency contraceptives and requires those under 17 to have a prescription to obtain them.

Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Quinn
State court challenge to an Illinois law brought in state court by anti-choice pharmacists that requires pharmacists to fill prescriptions for contraception.

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri v. Brownback
Challenge to a Kansas law eliminating Title X funding for women's health clinics that provide abortion care.

Planned Parenthood of Montana v. State
Challenge to Montana law prohibiting coverage of prescription contraceptives under Montana's CHIP program, a component of the Healthy Montana Kids program.

Planned Parenthood of Central North Carolina v. Cansler
Challenge to a North Carolina law that prohibits the state's department of health and human services from providing state or state-administered funds to Planned Parenthood affiliates.

Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Betlach
Challenge brought in federal court to Arizona law that prohibits public family planning funds from going to abortion providers or entities affiliated with abortion providers.

Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Commissioner of Indiana State Department of Health
Challenge to an Indiana state law that aimed to defund family planning programs in Indiana on the basis that state taxpayer money could be used to support abortion services.