Introduction: issues of reproductive rights: life, liberty & the pursuit of policy.

Author:Orrico, Lauren
 
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  1. INTRODUCTION II. THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT'S "CONTRACEPTIVE MANDATE" A. Employer Mandated Coverage B. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act C. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores III. DECISION MAKING DURING GESTATION IV. CRIMINALIZATION OF PREGNANCY DECISIONS V. OVERVIEW OF THE ARTICLES IN THIS SYMPOSIUM A. Professor Michael DeBoer B. Professor Carole Petersen C. Professor April Cherry I. INTRODUCTION

    On March 7, 2014, the Journal of Law and Health of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law hosted a symposium entitled "Issues of Reproductive Rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Policy" in response to recent developments in the regulation of women's reproductive rights. The discussion about women's reproductive rights has expanded far beyond the morality of abortion and right to privacy, established by the United States Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, (1) and has been complicated by new technology, statutory developments, and case law discussing the nature of a corporation. The symposium presenters addressed key legal developments in each stage of reproductive health: contraceptive rights, decision-making during gestation, and legal consequences during pregnancy after a pregnancy has been terminated.

  2. THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT'S "CONTRACEPTIVE MANDATE"

    1. Employer Mandated Coverage

      The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2012 ("ACA") requires employers with fifty or more full-time employees to offer health plans with minimum essential coverage to their employees, including preventative care and screenings for women. (2) The Health Resources and Services Administration ("HRSA"), a component of the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), was charged with promulgating rules detailing the type of preventative care and screenings employers were required to provide. (3) HRSA's "Women's Preventive Services Guidelines" require employers to provide coverage for "[a]ll Food and Drug Administration [(FDA)] approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling." (4) The ACA's "contraceptive mandate" contains an exemption for religious employers and certain eligible nonprofit organizations; an "eligible non-profit organization" "holds itself out as a religious organization" and "opposes providing coverage for some or all of any contraceptive services required to be covered ... on account of religious objections." (5) The ACA also contains exemptions for healthcare plans which existed prior to March 23, 2010 if no specified changes have been made ("grandfathered health plans"). (6)

    2. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act

      Potential challenges to the contraceptive mandate may be made pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act ("RFRA"). (7) RFRA was passed to ensure broad protection for religious liberty, in direct response to the Supreme Court's ruling in Employment Division v. Smith. (8) Smith held that, under the First Amendment, "neutral, generally applicable laws may be applied to religious practices even when not supported by a compelling...

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