211506 Non-governmental barriers to reproductive justice

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:06 AM

Jill C. Morrison, JD , Health and Reproductive Rights, National Women's Law Center, Washington, DC
This presentation will address restrictions to health care access that are imposed by non-governmental entities, namely institutions and individuals who refuse to provide reproductive health care services based on their religious or moral beliefs. Much attention has been drawn to the issue with the 11th hour promulgation of the Bush Administration's HHS Refusal Rule. Despite the fact that the rule is expected to be rescinded or modified by the Obama administration by the time of the annual meeting, the debate will no doubt rage on. While the issuance and presumptive rescission of the HHS rule provided some opportunity for analysis and debate regarding religious and moral refusals, far more needs to be done on educating both the public and health care providers on the broad scope of services impacted by refusals and how refusals effect access to healthcare.

This presentation will discuss both institutions and individuals that refuse to provide certain health care services based on their religious beliefs or affiliation. It will also explore how other entities, including insurers, colleges, and employers, impose their opposition to certain services on those under their dominion. The presentation will include an analysis of the current legal framework regulating providers' right to refuse and how this framework accounts for the interests of both providers and patients.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the full range of services that are refused on the basis of religious and moral beliefs; 2. Identify the harm to patients that result from such refusals; 3. Formulate advocacy strategies to oppose refusals.

Keywords: Women's Health, Family Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have 10 years of experience in reproductive rights advocacy, specifically regarding the intersection of religion and reproductive health access. Have previously presented at APHA, American Bar Association, and other national conferences and meetings.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.