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Talking Points

Pushing Pill Parity

July 29, 2001|LISA GIRION

With a historic court ruling on its side, the National Women's Law Center has initiated a campaign to expand work-based contraceptive coverage.

In June, a federal judge in Seattle ruled for the first time that a company's failure to include prescription contraceptives in an otherwise generous health plan amounted to sex discrimination. That decision mirrored a ruling by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last December.

Still, about half of all large-group health plans do not routinely include prescription contraceptive coverage, according to the law center. So the Washington-based organization has published a booklet--"Take Action: Get Your Prescription Contraceptives Covered"--that encourages workers to demand contraceptive coverage.

The law center, which helped convince the University of Nebraska to add contraceptive coverage in April without a court battle, outlines strategies for winning, including letter-writing campaigns and brown-bag lunches on women's rights.

The new campaign also features a Web site, http://www.nwlc.org/pill4us, and a toll-free information line, (866) PILL4US.

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