In the Courts https://reproductiverights.org/taxonomy/term/100/all en District Court Opinion - County of Santa Clara v. HHS https://reproductiverights.org/document/court-opinion-county-santa-clara-v-hhs <span>District Court Opinion - County of Santa Clara v. HHS</span> <div class="field field--name-field-case-document-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">Case Document Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/court-opinions-orders" hreflang="en">Court Opinions &amp; Orders</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Wed, 11/20/2019 - 10:24</span> <div class="field field--name-field-cases field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <h2 class="field__label">Cases</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/case/country-santa-clara-vs-hhs" hreflang="en">County of Santa Clara v. HHS</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-file-upload field--type-file field--label-visually_hidden crr-upload"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">File Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/OCR%20Order.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=128016" title="OCR Order.pdf">Opinion - County of Santa Clara v. HHS</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/other-barriers" hreflang="en">Other Barriers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/other-barriers-0" hreflang="en">Other Barriers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/maternal-health" hreflang="en">Maternal Health</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Wed, 20 Nov 2019 15:24:18 +0000 ehorwitz 58800 at https://reproductiverights.org California District Court Joins other Federal Courts in Vacating the Trump Administration’s “Denial of Care” Rule in Full https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/denial-of-care-rule-struck-down <span>California District Court Joins other Federal Courts in Vacating the Trump Administration’s “Denial of Care” Rule in Full</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Tue, 11/19/2019 - 10:00</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><strong><span><span>(PRESS RELEASE) </span></span></strong><span><span>Today, a California federal judge became the third judge in the U.S. to strike down the Trump Administration’s Denial of Care rule in its entirety. U.S. District Judge William Alsup also upheld the third party standing of reproductive rights physicians to bring cases on behalf of their patients and applied that doctrine to cover physicians bringing claims on behalf of LGBTQ patients, explaining that the rights of physicians and plaintiffs in these contexts are closely intertwined.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The vacated rule would empower an immensely broad array of healthcare workers, including receptionists and ambulance drivers, to turn away and refuse to serve patients based on moral or religious grounds. Patients seeking services like contraception, abortion, or gender affirming care would be most impacted by the rule. The lawsuit was filed by the County of Santa Clara, the </span></span><span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/"><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></a><span>, Lambda Legal, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Mayer Brown LLP.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In his ruling, Judge Alsup wrote: </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>“The New Rule sets forth new definitions of statutory terms that conflict with the statutes themselves—expansive definitions that would upset the balance drawn by Congress between protecting conscientious objectors versus facilitating the uninterrupted provision of health care to Americans.”</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>“Under the rule, a clerk scheduling surgeries for an operating room could refuse to reserve slots for abortions and sterilizations. So could an employee who merely sterilizes and places surgical instruments or ensures that the supply cabinets in the operating room are fully stocked in preparation for an abortion. For the reasons already stated, the Church Amendment was never intended to apply to those who have no role in the actual performance of the abortion or sterilization. Neither those who schedule abortions nor those who prepare an operating room assist in the performance of such a procedure under the Church Amendment.”</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>“Doctors and their patients have a confidential relationship, especially when it comes to asserting rights related to invasive procedures and treatments. Furthermore, most of the medical procedures at issue here such as abortions, gender-affirming surgery, and HIV treatments cannot be safely secured without the aid of a physician.  The rights of the individual physician plaintiffs and their patients here are thus closely intertwined.” </span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>“For the foregoing reasons, this order holds the rule is “not in accordance with law,” by reason of conflict with the underlying statutes and is in conflict with the balance struck by Congress in harmonizing protection of conscience objections vis-a-vis the uninterrupted flow of health care to Americans. When a rule is so saturated with error, as here, there is no point in trying to sever the problematic provisions. The whole rule must go.”</span></span></strong></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Earlier this month, federal judges in New York and Washington also vacated the entire rule in separate cases. Dozens of states, municipalities, providers, and advocacy groups have challenged the rule through various lawsuits around the country. The lawsuits emphasize that this confusing policy would incentivize health care providers to eliminate reproductive healthcare and LGBTQ care altogether, leaving millions across the country without access to critical health care, including in regions that might otherwise prioritize maintaining access to this essential care.  The Rule is especially dangerous because it has no emergency exception.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We are grateful the Court recognized the unchecked discrimination against women and LGBTQ patients that could occur under this rule, even in medical emergencies,” said <strong>Genevieve Scott, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights.</strong> “Discrimination in any context is egregious, but allowing someone’s religious or moral views to effectively veto a patient’s medical choice could have deadly consequences. It is out of line with any reasonable understanding of law or medical ethics that a receptionist, who is not directly involved in providing medical care, could turn away patients, or that an EMT could refuse to transport a patient with a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The Denial of Care Rule was issued in May by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and it applies to virtually every kind of healthcare provider.  Health care facilities risk losing all federal funding if they do not grant employees carte blanche to deny information and services.   Because the Rule is infeasible to implement, if allowed to go into effect, it would coerce many health care facilities to eliminate reproductive healthcare and LGBTQ healthcare, leaving millions across the United States without access to critical healthcare.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Plaintiffs in the case include the County of Santa Clara, which runs an extensive health and hospital system that serves as a safety-net provider for the county’s 1.9 million residents; the health providers Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pa., Center on Halsted in Chicago, Hartford GYN in Connecticut, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, Trust Women Seattle and Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C.; the associations AGLP, GLMA and Medical Students for Choice; and five doctors.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>###</span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-cases field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <h2 class="field__label">Cases</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/case/country-santa-clara-vs-hhs" hreflang="en">County of Santa Clara v. HHS</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-related-content field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/court-opinion-county-santa-clara-v-hhs" hreflang="en">District Court Opinion - County of Santa Clara v. HHS</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/other-barriers" hreflang="en">Other Barriers</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/access-quality-care" hreflang="en">Access to Quality Care</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Tue, 19 Nov 2019 15:00:24 +0000 ehorwitz 58799 at https://reproductiverights.org New Abortion Lawsuit Seeks to Expand Access in Oklahoma https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/new-abortion-lawsuit-seeks-expand-access-oklahoma <span>New Abortion Lawsuit Seeks to Expand Access in Oklahoma</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/08/2019 - 13:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">New case highlights telemedicine and advanced practice clinicians as avenues to increasing abortion access </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>(</span></span></span><span><span><span>PRESS RELEASE) </span></span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span>—</span></span></span><span><span><span> Today, the </span></span></span><span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/"><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></a><span><span> filed <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/PLD.2019-11-08.PETITION.pdf">a lawsuit</a> challenging two anti-abortion laws in Oklahoma, both of which are medically unnecessary and limit access to abortion care. </span></span>This is the sixth lawsuit the Center for Reproductive Rights has filed against Oklahoma in five years.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The laws being challenged in this case are:</span></span></span></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Telemedicine Ban:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> This Oklahoma law bans abortion providers from using telemedicine to provide medication abortion (abortion by pills). </span></span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span>Medication abortion has been approved by the FDA since 2000 and is extremely safe—the serious complication rate is less than one-half of one percent, whether provided in-person or by telemedicine. Telemedicine expands access to safe and legal health care.</span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>“Physician-Only Law”:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> This Oklahoma law bans advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) from providing abortion care, </span></span></span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span>despite the fact that APRNs can provide early abortion care with the same safety and efficacy as physicians. For this reason, sixteen other states already authorize APRNs to provide early abortion care. Major medical organizations, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Public Health Association and the World Health Organization have concluded that laws prohibiting APRNs from providing early abortion services are medically unfounded. </span></span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span><span>“If we get these senseless laws off the books, we can expand abortion access in Oklahoma, which has very few abortion providers,” said <strong><span>Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights</span></strong>. “As clinics shutter across the country, telemedicine is a crucial way to keep services available.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span><span>“Telemedicine helps reduce some of the barriers our patients face when accessing abortion care in Oklahoma,” said <strong><span>Julie Burkhart, Founder and CEO of Trust Women</span></strong>. “It is a critical component of health care delivery. Telemedicine would increase the available days that qualified practitioners are able to provide abortion care. It will certainly decrease the wait time for our patients. Reproductive access in Oklahoma is scarce; therefore, striking the physician-only law and the telemedicine ban will bring equality to more people in Oklahoma.”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Currently, <a href="https://www.guttmacher.org/state-policy/explore/medication-abortion"><span>18 states</span></a> have laws that require physicians to be physically present when providing pills for medication abortion. “Physician-only” laws are currently on the books in 34 states. The Center is challenging telemedicine bans in Arizona and Kansas, and physician-only laws in Arizona, Montana, and Virginia. The Montana Supreme Court has preliminarily allowed licensed advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortion care while the case continues at a lower court. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Other Oklahoma cases filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights have challenged the following laws:</span></span></span></p> <ul><li><span><span><span><span>A ban on the<span><span> standard method of abortion after approximately 14 weeks of pregnancy</span></span>—known as Dilation &amp; Evacuation—which was temporarily <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/oklahoma-supreme-court-steps-block-abortion-ban-after-rogue-ruling">blocked</a> earlier this week by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The same case also challenges a law forcing patients to wait 72 hours before they can obtain an abortion.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>A law forcing doctors to tell patients that medication abortion can be "reversed"—a false claim unsupported by scientific evidence. This law was temporarily <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/court-blocks-oklahoma-law-violates-doctors-free-speech">blocked</a> last month by a state district court. </span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>A law that that restricted a woman’s access to medication abortion, which was permanently <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/oklahoma-court-strikes-down-restrictions-on-medication-abortion">struck down</a> by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in April 2019.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>An<span><span> omnibus measure that </span></span>would have imposed four different new abortion restrictions, including subjecting abortion providers to warrantless searches. This was permanently <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/BurnsvCline_Oklahoma_SupremeCourt_Decision.pdf">blocked</a> by the Oklahoma Supreme court in October 2016.</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>A law preventing doctors from providing abortions unless they had admitting privileges at a local hospital. This law was permanently <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/documents/burns-v-cline-ok-supreme-court.pdf">blocked</a> by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in December 2016.</span></span></span></span></li> </ul><p><span><span><span>You can read the full complaint for this case [<a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/PLD.2019-11-08.PETITION.pdf">HERE</a>]. This case was filed by Emily Nestler, T.J. Tu, and Kirby Tyrrell from the Center for Reproductive Rights along with co-counsel Patterson Belknap Webb &amp; Tyler LLP and local counsel Blake Patton from Walding &amp; Patton PLLC. Plaintiffs in the case are Trust Women Oklahoma City, Dr. Colleen McNicholas, and Bridget Van Treese, an advanced practice registered nurse. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>##</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span>MEDIA CONTACT:</span></strong> Nora Franco, <a href="mailto:nfranco@reprorights.org">nfranco@reprorights.org</a>, 609-964-6759</span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Fri, 08 Nov 2019 18:56:09 +0000 ehorwitz 58789 at https://reproductiverights.org Petition - Trust Women Oklahoma City v. Hunter https://reproductiverights.org/document/petition-trust-women-oklahoma-city-v-hunter <span>Petition - Trust Women Oklahoma City v. Hunter</span> <div class="field field--name-field-case-document-type field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">Case Document Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/document/court-filings-pleadings-motions-briefs" hreflang="en">Court Filings: Pleadings, Motions &amp; Briefs</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/08/2019 - 13:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-file-upload field--type-file field--label-visually_hidden crr-upload"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">File Upload</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><span class="file file--mime-application-pdf file--application-pdf"><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/sites/default/files/2019-11/PLD.2019-11-08.PETITION.pdf" type="application/pdf; length=1455410" title="PLD.2019-11-08.PETITION.pdf">Petition - Trust Women Oklahoma City v. Hunter</a></span> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Fri, 08 Nov 2019 18:35:30 +0000 ehorwitz 58788 at https://reproductiverights.org Oklahoma Supreme Court Steps in to Block Abortion Ban After Rogue Ruling https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/oklahoma-supreme-court-steps-block-abortion-ban-after-rogue-ruling <span>Oklahoma Supreme Court Steps in to Block Abortion Ban After Rogue Ruling</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Mon, 11/04/2019 - 16:41</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">Court issues order temporarily blocking a ban on the standard method of abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><strong><span>(Press Release)</span></strong><span> — Today, the Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an emergency request to block the state’s ban on <span><span>the standard method of abortion after approximately 14 weeks of pregnancy. The </span></span></span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/"><span><span><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></span></span></a> <span><span><span>asked the state’s high court to step in after </span></span></span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/oklahoma-court-goes-rogue-upholds-abortion-ban"><span><span><span>an Oklahoma state trial court</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> upheld the ban earlier this year, becoming the first court in the country to uphold such a law. The ban was passed in 2015 and has never gone into effect.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>“Today’s decision means Oklahomans can continue receiving high-quality, evidence-based abortion care,” said Autumn Katz, Senior Counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights and lead counsel on this case. “Under this law, doctors would be subject to criminal penalties for providing abortions consistent with the standard of care. This ban was motivated by politics, not medicine, and the Oklahoma Supreme Court recognized that today.” </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Doctors who violate the ban could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Major medical organizations, including the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)</span></span></span><a href="http://www.acog.org/About-ACOG/News-Room/Statements/2015/ACOG-Statement-Regarding-Abortion-Procedure-Bans"><span><span><span> oppose</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> these types of bans, noting: “These restrictions represent legislative interference at its worst: doctors will be forced, by ill-advised, unscientifically motivated policy, to provide lesser care to patients. This is unacceptable.”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Similar bans have been struck down in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas. </span></span></span><span>Just this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a federal appellate court’s decision finding an identical ban in Alabama unconstitutional.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Only four health centers provide abortion services in Oklahoma. In addition to the laws challenged in this suit, Oklahoma has passed many other abortion restrictions, including: laws requiring parental involvement for minors; a ban on the use of telemedicine to prescribe pills for medication abortion; a mandatory 72-hour delay; and restrictions on when private, public, and state health insurance plans can cover abortion care. The Center is currently challenging </span></span></span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/court-blocks-oklahoma-law-violates-doctors-free-speech"><span><span><span>another Oklahoma law</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> that forces doctors to inform patients without any medical basis that medication abortion can be “reversed.” The law was temporarily blocked late last month.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>The case was filed in 2015 by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Walding &amp; Patton PLLC on behalf of Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>### </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span><span>MEDIA CONTACT:</span></span></span></strong><span><span><span> Nora Franco, </span></span></span><a href="mailto:nfranco@reprorights.org"><span><span><span>nfranco@reprorights.org</span></span></span></a><span><span><span>, 609-964-6759</span></span></span></span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-cases field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <h2 class="field__label">Cases</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/case/nova-health-systems-v-cline-et-al" hreflang="en">Nova Health Systems v. Cline et al.</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/legal-restrictions-0" hreflang="en">Legal Restrictions</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Mon, 04 Nov 2019 21:41:13 +0000 ehorwitz 58786 at https://reproductiverights.org Civil Rights Groups and the County of Santa Clara Urge Court to Block HHS Denial of Care Rule https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/civil-rights-groups-and-county-santa-clara-urge-court-block-hhs-denial-care-rule <span>Civil Rights Groups and the County of Santa Clara Urge Court to Block HHS Denial of Care Rule</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/30/2019 - 16:32</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">Patients’ Lives at Risk if Trump Administration Rule Goes into Effect Nov. 22</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><strong><span><span>(PRESS RELEASE) </span></span></strong><span><span>– Today, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Lambda Legal, and the County of Santa Clara argued before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California that the Trump administration’s Denial of Care Rule should be ruled unlawful and blocked from taking effect. The organizations, along with pro bono counsel Mayer Brown LLP, are representing myriad health care providers and medical professionals, as co-plaintiffs with the County, in the lawsuit <em><span>County of Santa Clara v. HHS</span></em>.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The Denial of Care Rule, which was issued in May by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is scheduled to take effect next month, invites any health care worker – including doctors, nurses, EMTs, administrators, janitors and clerical staff – to deny medical treatment, information and services to patients because of personal religious or moral beliefs. Health care facilities risk losing essential federal funding if they do not grant employees carte blanche to deny services. Because the rule is confusing and infeasible to implement, many health care facilities will likely be forced to eliminate services such as reproductive and LGBTQ care, leaving millions across the United States without access to critical health care.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Today, the civil rights organizations and the County argued that HHS exceeded its authority and arbitrarily and capriciously failed to consider the rule’s potential harm to patients and the health care system, in violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act. They also argued that the rule is unconstitutional because it advances specific religious beliefs in violation of the First Amendment; violates patients’ rights to privacy, liberty and equal dignity as guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment; and chills patients’ speech and expression in violation of the First Amendment, all to the detriment of patients’ health and well-being.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“This policy invites unprecedented discrimination against healthcare recipients at hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the country – HHS has said it is acceptable for a receptionist to refuse a patient care or for an EMT to refuse to transport a patient with a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy,” said <strong><span>Genevieve Scott, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. </span></strong>“What’s more, hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout the country will likely be coerced into eliminating abortion care, trans care, and other critical services to avoid loss of government funding that they depend upon to keep their doors open.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We have less than a month before patients nationwide may be denied care because of someone else’s religious beliefs. This is about health – for ourselves, our children, our grandparents, our communities. No one should be denied medical treatment because of who they are, who they love or what they believe,” said <strong><span>Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United</span></strong>. “The Denial of Care rule violates our nation’s fundamental promise of religious freedom – that we are all free to believe or not believe, so long as we don’t harm others. It is the definition of harming others when you refuse to provide health care to those in need. The court should recognize the danger this rule poses to everyone and block it from ever taking effect.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“For more than five months this rule has hung over women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities, and other already marginalized and vulnerable populations, threatening at any moment to cut them off from critical and in some cases life-saving care,” <strong><span>Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Jamie Gliksberg</span></strong> said. “Our attorneys today made it transparently clear to the court just how devastating implementation of this rule will be, and we look forward to the court issuing a ruling that the facts overwhelmingly support.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“The argument today confirms that the rule has no legal or common sense basis and, if implemented, will undermine emergency services and medical care for the County’s nearly 2 million residents,” said <strong><span>James R. Williams, Santa Clara County Counsel</span></strong>. “The Trump Administration is purposefully stoking fear among already vulnerable communities and increasing barriers to critical health care. We are committed to healthcare for all—and that is why we will continue working to ensure this unlawful rule is blocked.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The lawsuit’s plaintiffs include the County of Santa Clara, which runs an extensive health and hospital system that serves as a safety-net provider for the county’s 1.9 million residents; the health providers Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, Pa., Center on Halsted in Chicago, Hartford GYN in Connecticut, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia, Trust Women Seattle and Whitman-Walker Health in Washington, D.C.; the associations AGLP, GLMA and Medical Students for Choice; and five doctors.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><a href="https://www.au.org/sites/default/files/2019-05/County%20of%20Santa%20Clara%20v.%20HHS%205.28.19.pdf">The lawsuit is available here</a>.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>###</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong><span><span>PRESS CONTACTS:</span></span></strong><br /><strong><span><span><strong><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></strong></span></span></strong><span><span>, Geraldine Henrich-Koenis, 202-524-5538, <a href="mailto:ghenrichkoenis@reprorights.org"><span>ghenrichkoenis@reprorights.org</span></a></span></span><br /><strong><span><span>Americans United for Separation of Church and State</span></span></strong><span><span>, Tali lsraeli or Liz Hayes, 202-466-3234, <a href="mailto:media@au.org"><span>media@au.org</span></a></span></span><br /><strong><span><span>Lambda Legal</span></span></strong><span><span>, Tom Warnke, 213-841-4503, <a href="mailto:twarnke@lambdalegal.org"><span>twarnke@lambdalegal.org</span></a></span></span><br /><strong><span><span>County of Santa Clara</span></span></strong><span><span>, Alex Butcher-Nesbitt, 603-707-6153, <a href="mailto:abutchernesbitt@mercuryllc.com"><span>abutchernesbitt@mercuryllc.com</span></a></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><em><span><span>Founded in 1992, the </span></span></em><span><span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/"><em><strong><span><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></span></strong></em></a><em><span> is a global legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing reproductive health and autonomy. The Center’s groundbreaking court cases have expanded access to safe abortion, birth control and maternal healthcare in the U.S. and across the globe.</span></em></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><a href="https://www.au.org/"><em><strong><span><span>Americans United for Separation of Church and State</span></span></strong></em></a><em><span> is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.</span></em></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><a href="https://www.lambdalegal.org/"><em><strong><span><span>Lambda Legal</span></span></strong></em></a><em><span> is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and everyone living with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.</span></em></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><em><span><span>The government of the </span></span></em><span><span><a href="https://www.sccgov.org/sites/scc"><em><strong><span><span>County of Santa Clara</span></span></strong></em></a><em><span> serves a diverse, multi-cultural population of 1.9 million residents – more populous than 14 states. With a $8.1 billion annual budget, dozens of departments and agencies, and over 20,000 employees, the County provides essential services to its residents, including public health protection, environmental stewardship, medical services through the County of Santa Clara Health System, child and adult protection services, homelessness prevention and solutions, roads, park services, libraries, emergency response to disasters, protection of minority communities and those under threat, access to a fair criminal justice system, and many others.</span></em></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> <p><span><span> </span></span></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Wed, 30 Oct 2019 20:32:11 +0000 ehorwitz 58785 at https://reproductiverights.org Court Blocks Oklahoma Law that Violates Doctors’ Free Speech https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/court-blocks-oklahoma-law-violates-doctors-free-speech <span>Court Blocks Oklahoma Law that Violates Doctors’ Free Speech</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/511" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eugena@defmethod.io</span></span> <span>Wed, 10/23/2019 - 21:18</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-subhead field--type-string field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Subhead</div> <div class="field__item">Law would force physicians to tell patients that some abortions are “reversible”</div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>(PRESS RELEASE)—Today, a state district court judge ruled from the bench and temporarily blocked <span><span>an Oklahoma law forcing doctors to tell patients that medication abortion (abortion by pills) can be “reversed”—a misleading claim unsupported by scientific evidence. Under this law, </span></span>physicians can be charged with a felony if this misleading information is not repeatedly relayed to the patient, including at least 72 hours before their medication abortion appointment and on mandatory signs in the clinic.</span><span>The preliminary injunction was requested <span><span>by</span></span></span> <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/"><span><span>Center for Reproductive Rights</span></span></a><span><span>, Weil, Gotshal &amp; Manges, LLP, and Walding &amp; Patton PLLC on behalf of Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, LLC and Dr. Alan Braid.</span></span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>“<span><span>This law is a glaring free speech violation and the court recognized that today,</span></span>” said Gail Deady, staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights. “<span><span>There is no credible scientific evidence that medication abortion is reversible. Forcing doctors to tell patients otherwise would violate not only their free speech rights, but medical ethics.”</span></span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>“When patients walk through the doors of our clinic, they deserve to be told truthful and non-misleading information about whatever treatment they’re receiving, whether it’s a prescription for birth control or a medication abortion,” said Dr. Alan Braid, owner of Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic. “Today’s ruling protects our ability to speak honestly with our patients and protects the trust our patients put in us.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">The law being challenged, S.B. 614, was scheduled to take effect on November 1, 2019. In addition to forcing doctors to tell their patients that a medication abortion can be “reversed,” the law also requires providers to repeatedly direct patients to Heartbeat International’s Abortion Pill Reversal Network 24-hour hotline. Providers must also post signage throughout their health center with the network’s information, and directly provide it to patients following their appointment.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Last month, a court blocked a similar law in </span><span><span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/court-blocks-north-dakota-law-forcing-physicians-lie-about-abortion"><span><span><span>North Dakota</span></span></span></a></span></span><span> in a case also filed by the Center for Reproductive Rights. Eight states have now passed laws requiring abortion providers to tell patients about so-called abortion “reversal,” with five of those laws passed in 2019. The eight states include: Arkansas; Idaho; Kentucky; North Dakota; South Dakota; Oklahoma; Nebraska; and Utah.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>These laws are opposed by medical experts, including the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College for Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). ACOG has </span><span><span><a href="https://www.acog.org/-/media/Departments/Government-Relations-and-Outreach/FactsAreImportantMedicationAbortionReversal.pdf"><span><span><span>referred</span></span></span></a></span></span><span> to these bills as “based on unproven, unethical research” and “dangerous to women’s health.”</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>Only four health centers provide abortion services in the entire state of Oklahoma. In addition to the law challenged in this suit, Oklahoma has passed many other abortion restrictions, including: a parental consent requirement for minors; a ban on the use of telemedicine to prescribe pills for medication abortion; and restrictions on when private, public and state health insurance plans can cover abortion care. The Center is currently </span><a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/oklahoma-court-goes-rogue-upholds-abortion-ban"><span><span>challenging two other Oklahoma laws</span></span></a><span>--a law banning the standard abortion procedure after about 14 weeks of pregnancy, and another law that forces patients to wait 72 hours to access abortion.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">This case was filed by attorneys from Weil, Gotshal &amp; Manges, LLP, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Walding &amp; Patton PLLC on behalf of Tulsa Women’s Reproductive Clinic, LLC and Dr. Alan Braid.</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span>###</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">MEDIA CONTACT:</span></strong> <span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">Nora Franco, </span><a href="mailto:nfranco@reprorights.org"><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN"><span>nfranco@reprorights.org</span></span></a><span lang="EN" xml:lang="EN">, 609-964-6759</span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/legal-restrictions-0" hreflang="en">Legal Restrictions</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Thu, 24 Oct 2019 01:18:43 +0000 eugena@defmethod.io 58777 at https://reproductiverights.org Louisiana could become the first state without abortion access as soon as next year https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/louisiana-could-become-first-state-without-abortion-access-soon-next-year <span>Louisiana could become the first state without abortion access as soon as next year</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/511" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eugena@defmethod.io</span></span> <span>Fri, 10/18/2019 - 13:39</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/center-news" hreflang="en">Center in the News</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>CBS interviews the Center’s client in June Medical v. Gee about the devastating impact of the state’s abortion law.</p> <p>Read more at <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louisiana-abortion-case-supreme-court-state-could-become-first-without-abortion-access-next-year-2019-10-18/">CBS News</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Fri, 18 Oct 2019 17:39:37 +0000 eugena@defmethod.io 58781 at https://reproductiverights.org Abortion in America – Louisiana: "These laws have literally nothing to do with safety" https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/abortion-america-louisiana-these-laws-have-literally-nothing-do-safety <span>Abortion in America – Louisiana: &quot;These laws have literally nothing to do with safety&quot;</span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/511" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">eugena@defmethod.io</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/15/2019 - 13:37</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/center-news" hreflang="en">Center in the News</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>T.J. Tu, the Center’s senior counsel for litigation, is interviewed by CBS about <em>June Medical v. Gee </em>and the impact of the law on Louisiana women.</p> <p>Watch interview at <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/louisiana-abortion-case-supreme-court-attorney-says-these-laws-have-literally-nothing-to-do-with-safety/">CBS News</a>.</p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/abortion" hreflang="en">Abortion</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 17:37:01 +0000 eugena@defmethod.io 58780 at https://reproductiverights.org Center for Reproductive Rights Sues Department of Health and Human Services for Failing to Comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/center-reproductive-rights-sues-department-health-and-human-services-failing-comply <span>Center for Reproductive Rights Sues Department of Health and Human Services for Failing to Comply with Freedom of Information Act Requests </span> <span><span lang="" about="/user/81" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehorwitz</span></span> <span>Tue, 10/15/2019 - 12:22</span> <div class="field field--name-field-new-ty field--type-entity-reference field--label-visually_hidden"> <h2 class="field__label visually-hidden">News Type</h2> <div class="field__item"><a href="/press-room/press-releases" hreflang="en">Press Releases</a></div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-primary-content field--type-entity-reference-revisions field--label-visually_hidden"> <div class="field__label visually-hidden">Primary Content</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"> <div class="paragraph paragraph--type--text paragraph--view-mode--default"> <div class="field field--name-field-formatted-text field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><span>(PRESS RELEASE) —Today, the <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/">Center for Reproductive Rights</a>filed a <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/document/complaint-foia-request-hhs">complaint </a>against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for failing to produce records related to the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) operations and enforcement of civil rights laws. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Lawyers say the complaint, which comes after two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests went effectively unanswered, is critical in revealing shifts in OCR’s priorities that harm the office’s efforts to combat discrimination and protect patient privacy.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>In 2018 the Trump administration created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division (CRFD) within OCR purportedly to enforce religious and moral refusal laws. While the stated rationale for the establishing this division was to handle an increase in religious and moral refusal complaints, historically only an extremely small fraction of the complaints received by OCR are related to these issues. Despite this, HHS sought to increase CRFD’s budget by over $1 million in Fiscal Years 2019 and 2020, while simultaneously reducing overall funding for OCR. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>On August 30, the Center for Reproductive Rights submitted two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking budget and staffing details of the CRFD and information related to OCR’s HIPPA enforcement activities. Although a 2009 law enacted by the Obama administration specifies that any funds collected as a result of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) violations must be used to enforce health data privacy and security regulations, suspicion has been growing regarding the funds’ distribution</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“There is simply no reason to hide this critical information from the public. Every day ordinary Americans rely on the Office of Civil Rights to do its job and protect them against discrimination,” said Katherine Gillespie from the Center for Reproductive Rights. “The public deserves to know how the Trump administration has retreated from this critical enforcement role and we must hold them accountable.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>HHS has failed to share any information or provide a final response within 20 days since the initial requests were submitted, which is required by law. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“The Trump administration has repeatedly used the Office of Civil Rights to pursue a politically motivated agenda at the expense of protecting patient privacy and enforcing civil rights laws,” said Kalpana Kotagal, a partner in Cohen Milstein Sellers &amp; Toll PLLC's Civil Rights &amp; Employment practice. “Americans have a right to understand the justification for increasing the budget of this division—which is a solution in search of problem—while slashing funding for critical offices that combat discrimination and protect patients.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The Center previously filed a FOIA request seeking information to understand <a href="https://reproductiverights.org/press-room/center-for-reproductive-rights-national-women%E2%80%99s-law-center-file-freedom-of-information-ac"><span>why HHS created the CRFD</span></a>. The Center for Reproductive Rights is represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers &amp; Toll throughout this litigation. </span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-issue field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Issues</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-issues/legal-restrictions-0" hreflang="en">Legal Restrictions</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-region field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Regions</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-regions/united-states" hreflang="en">United States</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> <div class="field field--name-field-work field--type-entity-reference field--label-inline"> <h2 class="field__label">Work</h2> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/our-work/in-the-courts" hreflang="en">In the Courts</a></div> </div> </div> <br class="clear" /> Tue, 15 Oct 2019 16:22:24 +0000 ehorwitz 58773 at https://reproductiverights.org