Refusal Provisions

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.

Mo. bill would allow pharmacists to prescribe birth control
Missouri Rep. Sheila Solon (R) proposed a bill (HB 1679) that would allow pharmacists to prescribe oral contraceptives, the AP/Charlotte Observer reports.

Study finds increase in birth rates after Texas' Planned Parenthood funding cuts
The birth rate among low-income women who previously obtained contraception from clinics in Texas increased after the state cut funding for Planned Parenthood and family planning clinics affiliated with abortion providers, according to a Texas Policy Evaluation Project study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Los Angeles Times' "Science Now" reports.

N.Y. Assembly Passes Bill To Bolster Contraceptive Coverage
The New York state Assembly passed a bill (A 8135) that would boost coverage for and facilitate access to contraception, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Vt. Lawmaker Introduces Bill To Boost Access to Contraceptives
A Vermont House lawmaker on Friday introduced a bill (HR 620) that would facilitate access to birth control in the state, WPTZ reports.

Kan. Lawmakers Propose Three Measures To Increase Access to Reproductive Health Care
Kansas House lawmakers on Thursday announced three bills that would help women access abortion care and birth control, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Del. Gov. Announces LARC Initiative
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has announced a new initiative that aims to boost women's access to long-acting reversible contraception, the Wilmington News Journal/Delaware Online reports.

Fla. Lawmakers, Planned Parenthood Affiliates Discuss LARC Pilot
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) has announced a new initiative that aims to boost women's access to long-acting reversible contraception, the Wilmington News Journal/Delaware Online reports.

Judge Denies Preliminary Injunction Against Catholic Hospital That Refuses To Provide Tubal Ligation
In a ruling Thursday, San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith finalized his decision allowing a Catholic hospital in California to deny a woman's request for a tubal ligation, the AP/San Jose Mercury News reports.

Population Institute: United States Earns 'D+' in Reproductive Rights and Health
The United States in 2015 earned a "D+" on reproductive rights and health, according the Population Institute's latest report card, the Mid-Valley Statesman Journal reports.

Study Finds Most Unintended Second Pregnancies Could Be Prevented With LARC
The majority of unintended pregnancies that occur within two years of giving birth could be averted or delayed if women were able to access their preferred method of long-acting reversible contraception, according to a study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, Reuters reports.

Omaha, Neb. School Board Reviews Sexuality Education Curriculum
The Omaha Public Schools Board on Monday reviewed a new proposed curriculum for health and sexuality education, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports. The board is scheduled to vote to finalize the curriculum Jan. 20.

Op-Ed: Catholic Hospital's Refusal To Provide Tubal Ligation Marks 'Developing Crisis' in Health Care
An ongoing lawsuit involving a Catholic hospital's refusal to provide sterilization services "underscores a developing crisis in American [health care], which is tied to the evolution of Catholic hospital chains into a major provider of medical services -- and the sole provider of some services in some communities," columnist Michael Hiltzik writes in an opinion piece for the Los Angeles Times.

Featured Blog
"The Power of Making Abortion Personal" (Green, The Atlantic, 1/8)

Featured Blogs
"The Power of Making Abortion Personal" (Green, The Atlantic, 1/8); "Oregon Kicks 2016 Off by Allowing Over-the-Counter Birth Control" (Patton, Care2, 1/10).

Featured Blogs
"The Power of Making Abortion Personal" (Green, The Atlantic, 1/8); "Oregon Kicks 2016 Off by Allowing Over-the-Counter Birth Control" (Patton, Care2, 1/10).

Va. Governor Proposes Program To Boost LARC Accessibility
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has proposed a program that would help provide long-acting reversible contraception to women who have little or no health insurance, the Washington Post's "D.C. Politics" reports.

Featured Blogs
"America and Reproductive Rights: Not Making the Grade" (Walker, Huffington Post blogs, 1/7); "Advocates Push for Dignity in Supreme Court Anti-Abortion Law Case" (Mason Pieklo, RH Reality Check, 1/6).

Pharmacists Petition SCOTUS To Overturn Wash. Rules on Dispensing Emergency Contraception
A group of pharmacists on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that upheld a Washington state law requiring pharmacies to dispense emergency contraception, regardless of whether owners have religious objections, AP/Modern Healthcare reports.

Obama Administration Urges SCOTUS To Strike Down Texas' HB 2
The Obama administration on Monday urged the Supreme Court to strike down contested provisions in Texas' omnibus antiabortion-rights law (HB 2), the Wall Street Journal reports.

Fla. Health Officials, Clinic Near Settlement Agreement
An administrative law judge has canceled a hearing for a Florida abortion clinic that state officials claim is incorrectly interpreting the definition of second-trimester abortions, the News Service of Florida/Tampa Tribune reports.

ACLU Files Lawsuit Against Catholic Hospital for Denying Woman Tubal Ligation
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital in California on behalf of a woman who was denied a tubal ligation procedure, New Republic's "Minutes" reports.

N.Y. Gov. Signs Law Making Pregnancy a Qualifying Life Event for Health Insurance Enrollment
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) earlier this month signed into law legislation (A 7836-A, S 5548-A) that would classify pregnancy as a qualifying life event to purchase health coverage on or off of New York's insurance marketplace outside of the open enrollment period, PBS Newshour's "The Rundown" reports.

ACLU Threatens Lawsuit Against Catholic Hospital for Denying Women Tubal Ligation Procedures
The American Civil Liberties Union and Physicians for Reproductive Health said they will file a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital in California for denying two women's requests for tubal ligation unless the hospital agrees to provide the procedure, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Conservative Lawmakers Oppose Mich. Family Planning Grant for Planned Parenthood
A group of conservative lawmakers in the Michigan House are urging a state panel to reject a proposal from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that would direct $1.2 million in family planning funding to Planned Parenthood for services provided to low-income women in Detroit, the Detroit News reports.

NYT Praises Ore., Calif.; Calls on Other States To Facilitate Contraceptive Access
A New York Times editorial praises Oregon and California for enacting laws that "are about to allow patients to get [contraception] from a pharmacist without seeing a doctor first," and urges other states to "consider similar moves."

Featured Blogs
"Parental Notification an Issue Once More for California," (Omara, American Prospect, 11/17); "Women Want Over-the-Counter Birth Control," (Bricker-Caplan, "DoubleX," Slate, 11/23); "Alabama May Back Off Its Policy of Treating New Moms Like Meth Cooks," (Andrews, Mother Jones, 11/20).

Ohio House Passes Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood
The Ohio House on Tuesday voted 62-33 to advance legislation (HB 294) that would defund Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Utah Lawmakers To Propose Bills Targeting Planned Parenthood, Banning Abortion
Utah lawmakers on Wednesday announced plans to propose two antiabortion-rights measures, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Miss. Clinic To Register With Medicaid and Other Insurers, Offer Covered Birth Control
The sole abortion clinic in Mississippi in the next few weeks will become an official health care provider for insurers, including Medicaid, and soon will start providing covered contraception to patients, the Jackson Free Press reports.

N.Y. Co-Op Closure Could Place Consumers in Catholic Plan With Secondary Providers for Reproductive Health Services
The closure of the New York health insurance co-op established under the Affordable Care Act (PL 111-148) could leave many New York residents automatically enrolled in a Catholic insurance plan that requires members to access certain reproductive health care services via secondary providers, Politico New York reports.

Ark. Pursues Hearing on Planned Parenthood Request for Class-Action Status
The state of Arkansas last week asked a federal judge to reject Planned Parenthood's request for class-action status in its lawsuit against the state and asked for a hearing on the issue, AP/THV 11 reports.

Ky. Lawmakers Propose Bill Targeting Title X Funding for Planned Parenthood
A group of conservative lawmakers in Kentucky pre-filed a bill (BR 292) for next year's legislative session that would end Title X funding for two Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports.

Seattle Times Op-Ed: Wash. State Must Fight To Keep 'Existing Women's Health Infrastructure'
In a Seattle Times opinion piece, columnist Thanh Tan notes that "[d]isturbing trends are creeping into" Washington state that run counter to its "famously pro-abortion-rights" history, particularly endangering low-income women's "basic rights to a full range of reproductive health options, including birth control and abortion."

Featured Blogs
"When Will SCOTUS Rule on HB2, Texas' Strident Anti-Abortion Law? The State Is Sneakily Chipping Away at Women's Rights in The Meantime" (Yurcaba, Bustle, 10/29); "GOP Lawmaker: Colorado Officials Are 'Science-Deniers' for Reporting IUDs Reduce Abortions" (Salzman, RH Reality Check, 10/27).

Mich. Senate Lawmakers Introduce Bills Restricting Abortion, State Contracts With Providers
Michigan Senate lawmakers last week introduced two more pieces of legislation (SB 573, SB 575) aimed at restricting access to abortion, the Detroit Free Press/Lansing State Journal reports.

Planned Parenthood Report Highlights Regional Variation in Patient Access
Patients in some Southern states, including states that are trying to defund Planned Parenthood, already face limited access to Planned Parenthood facilities, according to a report released by the organization, CQ Weekly reports.

Featured Blogs
"Planned Parenthood Is What's Working" (Lindsey, Huffington Post blogs, 10/23); "We're About To Get a Big Clue On How The Supreme Court Views Birth Control" (Millhiser, "ThinkProgress," Center for American Progress, 10/26).

Texas OIG: Planned Parenthood Medicaid Contract Not Yet Canceled
It will take at least one month for Texas to determine whether it can terminate its Medicaid agreement with Planned Parenthood, according to a Texas official, the Texas Tribune reports.

Colo. Family Planning Program Linked to 48% Decline in Teen Birth, Abortion Rates
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced last week that a program designed to increase access to long-acting reversible contraceptives continues help curb abortion and birthrates for teenagers in the state, although its future funding remains unclear, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.

Study: Medicaid Coverage for Postpartum LARC Improving
More states are offering women the option to receive long-acting reversible contraception immediately after childbirth through Medicaid programs, according to a study in the journal Contraception, CBS News reports.

Planned Parenthood Files Lawsuit To Block Ala. Medicaid Cuts
Planned Parenthood Southeast in August filed a lawsuit in federal court to block Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's (R) decision to cut Medicaid funding for the organization, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports.

Colo. Will Not Conduct Planned Parenthood Investigation
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment on Wednesday announced it will not investigate Planned Parenthood following the release of a series of misleading videos, KUSA/9 News reports.

Calif. Rejects Proposed Planned Parenthood Audit
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court to block Louisiana from cutting the organization's Medicaid funding, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Planned Parenthood Sues La. Over Medicaid Cuts
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in federal court to block Louisiana from cutting the organization's Medicaid funding, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Calif. Catholic Hospital Permits Patient To Access Sterilization Services After Facing Possible Lawsuit
On Monday, a Catholic hospital in California reversed its decision and agreed to perform a tubal ligation on a patient, Rachel Miller, following notice of a possible sex-discrimination lawsuit, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Planned Parenthood App Helps Alaska Women Access Birth Control
Women in Alaska can now obtain birth control remotely via Planned Parenthood's Get Care application, which can be used on mobile devices and desktop computers, the Juneau Empire reports.

Kansas' Move To Defund Planned Parenthood Curbs Health Care Access for Low-Income Residents
Many health care services for low-income residents in Kansas have been cut following the state's move to defund Planned Parenthood, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Featured Blog
"A Win for Washingtonians, a Win for Patients' Rights," (Hanson, "Womenstake," National Women's Law Center, 7/27).

9th Circuit Court Affirms Washington Rules on Dispensing Emergency Contraception
On Thursday, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Washington state law requiring pharmacies to dispense all medicine, regardless of whether owners have religious objections, Reuters reports.

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.

Refusal Provisions | In the Courts

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

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

Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc. v. Commissioner of Indiana State Department of Health
Federal court 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.

Planned Parenthood Arizona v. Betlach
Federal court challenge to an Arizona law that prohibits public family planning funds from going to abortion providers or entities affiliated with abortion providers.

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

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 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.