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The Record of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Gender Justice

April 6, 2022

The National Women's Law Center ("the Law Center") has reviewed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's judicial and legal record throughout her career with a focus on cases addressing issues of critical importance to women and girls, such as workplace discrimination and collective bargaining, reproductive rights and health, public benefits, and disability rights. In addition, the Center has reviewed key activities, public statements, and experiences of Judge Jackson outside of her service on the federal bench and her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee during her confirmation hearings which began on March 21, 2022 and concluded on March 24, 2022. This report presents this analysis and is intended to educate the public about Judge Jackson's record on gender justice and the importance of fair and impartial courts.

The Women’s Health Protection Act Will Help Ensure that Abortion is Available and Accessible in Our Communities

February 24, 2022

Abortion access has been decimated across the country, with the greatest impact on the most underrepresented and underserved communities. In Texas, abortion is effectively banned; in 6 states, only one clinic remains; and 29 states are now considered hostile to abortion. And the Supreme Court is poised to overturn or eviscerate the constitutional right to abortion. It is the responsibility of Congress to ensure abortion is available and affordable to all—not just the privileged few—and it can start by passing the Women's Health Protection Act (WHPA, H.R. 3755/S. 1975). WHPA would establish a federal law that protects abortion access nationwide from bans and restrictions.

Roe v. Wade and the Right to Abortion

January 24, 2022

The constitutional right to abortion was first recognized nearly five decades ago, and the Supreme Court has repeatedly reaffirmed its central holding. Yet this fundamental constitutional right is facing a grave and imminent threat.

A Lifetime of Damage: How Big Tobacco’s Predatory Marketing Harms the Health of Women and Girls

May 26, 2021

The tobacco industry has a long history of developing cigarette brands and marketing campaigns that target women and girls, with devastating consequences for women's health. The industry's deliberate and aggressive targeting of women and girls spans a century, utilizing themes of beauty, fashion, freedom and sophistication – and often playing into sexist tropes – while ignoring or downplaying that tobacco use causes serious health harms at all stages of a woman's life.Smoking harms nearly every organ of the body and affects a person's overall health. More than 16 million women and girls in the United States currently smoke, putting them at risk for the serious and deadly diseases caused by smoking. Over 200,000 women die in the U.S. every year due to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, youth e-cigarette use has skyrocketed to what the U.S. Surgeon General and the Food and Drug Administration have called "epidemic" levels, with nearly 1 in 5 high school girls now using e-cigarettes.This report details the tobacco industry's history of predatory marketing, which has lured and addicted millions of women and girls to tobacco products, and the resulting harmful consequences for women's health that occur over their lifespans. This report demonstrates that strong action is needed now to protect women's health and save lives, and offers proven solutions to prevent young girls from starting to smoke or vape and help all women quit.

Gender and Racial Justice in SNAP

October 1, 2020

Women, particularly women of color, women with disabilities, older women, LGBTQ individuals, and immigrant women, disproportionately face economic insecurity. In general, women of color face both gender and racial discrimination in hiring and wages. Women are overrepresented in the low-paid workforce and in sectors that are consistently devalued, such as domestic and care work. Overall, women make up 64 percent of the workforce in the 40 lowest-paying jobs. In addition to inadequate pay, these jobs often have unpredictable schedules and few worker protections, limiting access to vital benefits such as paid family and medical leave. These long-standing structural inequities inhibit economic mobility for women, making them more susceptible to food insecurity. The current COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the gender and racial inequities in economic security for women and their families, and even more for women of color. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) is a critical program in providing women, children, and families with the food assistance needed to better support their wellbeing. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, SNAP served more than 35.7 million people in 17.9 million households on average each month. In May 2020, that number increased to serve 43.1 million people as SNAP expanded to meet need during the period of economic downturn. However, even with its extensive reach, critical gaps still exist in the adequacy and administration of SNAP for a multitude of women, especially women facing multiple forms of discrimination. 

Medicaid Is Vital for Women’s Jobs in Every Community

June 26, 2017

Medicaid is primarily known as the government program that provides health insurance coverage to individuals struggling to make ends meet. Women make up the majority of Medicaid enrollees, and the program covers a range of services – birth control, maternity care, prescription drugs, hospitalization, long-term care, and more – that address many of women's major health needs throughout their lives.At the same time, Medicaid plays a critically important role in advancing women's economic security through directly supporting women's jobs and by providing health insurance coverage that enables women to work.Proposals to fundamentally change how Medicaid is financed and create barriers to enrollment threaten the livelihood of millions of women.

Double the Trouble: Health Care Access Without the Affordable Care Act or Planned Parenthood

June 23, 2017

Access to high quality, affordable health care, including reproductive health care, is critical to an individual's health, economic security, and dignity. But access to health care requires more than just an empty promise—the existence of health care services means nothing if a person can't afford them or if there are no quality health care providers in their area to deliver the services they need.In light of relentless attacks on both the ACA and Planned Parenthood by Congress and the Trump Administration, this report paints a picture of what health care access would look like if the ACA is dismantled and Planned Parenthood is defunded. This analysis contains five example scenarios of the obstacles that potential patients could face in getting the health care they need.

The Affordable Care Act Repeal Bill Would Put Affordable Health Coverage Out of Reach For Many Women

March 20, 2017

The American Health Care Act, the budget reconciliation proposal to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), restructures the health care system in favor of wealthier individuals and companies. At the same time, it takes away critical financial assistance that has helped individuals afford health insurance and health care, and it imposes financial penalties on those least able to afford it. These changes come at the expense of women, who will lose access to health care and health insurance, jeopardizing their health and economic security.

Women's Health Coverage Since the ACA: Improvements for Most, But Insurer Exclusions Put Many at Risk

August 9, 2016

Since enactment of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many more women have health insurance than before the law, in part because it prohibits insurer practices that discriminate against women. However, gaps in women's health coverage persist. Insurers often exclude health services that women are likely to need, leaving women vulnerable to higher costs and denied claims that threaten their economic security and physical health.Goal: To uncover the types and incidence of insurer exclusions that may disproportionately affect women's coverage. Method: The authors examined qualified health plans from 109 insurers across 16 states for 2014, 2015, or both years.Key findings and conclusions: Six types of services are frequently excluded from insurance coverage: treatment of conditions resulting from noncovered services, maintenance therapy, genetic testing, fetal reduction surgery, treatment of selfinflicted conditions, and preventive services not covered by law. Policy change recommendations include prohibiting variations within states' "essential health benefits" benchmark plans and requiring transparency and simplified language in plan documents.

Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity

September 23, 2014

This report seeks to expand conversations around educational opportunity by taking a comprehensive look at the barriers African American girls face and the educational and economic outcomes that result. One important barrier is the prevalence of stereotypes that adversely impact the educational experiences of African American girls. Structural and institutional barriers examined in this report -- such as under-resourced schools, disparate discipline practices, gender-based violence and harassment, and lack of support for pregnant and parenting students -- further compromise educational outcomes for African American girls. This report fills an important gap in existing data on educational achievement and its attendant economic consequences. Although there is plentiful data on American children and education, the lack of data broken down by race and gender together has fueled the assumption that all girls are doing fine in school. But in fact, although girls overall graduate from high school at higher rates than boys, girls of color are graduating at far lower rates than white girls and boys. In almost all states with available data, the high school graduation rate for African American girls is below the national average for girls overall, resulting in severe economic consequences for African American women and their families.

Underpaid and Overloaded: Women in Low-Wage Jobs

July 30, 2014

This report provides a comprehensive look at the women and men in the low-wage workforce, holding down jobs that typically pay $10.10 per hour or less, such as home health aides, child care workers, fast food workers, restaurant servers, maids and cashiers. The report reveals that, although women's educational credentials are better than ever, women are two-thirds of the 20 million workers in low-wage jobs. And, regardless of their education level, age, marital or parental status, race, ethnicity, or national origin, women's shares of the low-wage workforce are larger than those of their male counterparts. Especially striking is the finding that women need a bachelor's degree to avoid being overrepresented in low-wage jobs -- while men only need to finish high school.

Getting the Coverage You Deserve: What to Do if You Are Charged a Co-Pay, Deductible, or Co-Insurance for a Preventive Service

April 3, 2014

The health care law requires new health plans to cover certain preventive services. This means that, as an increasing number of health plans come under the law's reach over the next few years, more and more people will have access to a wide range of preventive services without co-payments, deductibles, or co-insurance. This is especially important to women, who are more likely than men to avoid needed health care, including preventive care, because of cost. This requirement is a huge step forward for women's health.The National Women's Law Center has been working hard to make sure women and their families know about the preventive coverage provided through the health care law. We've heard from many women about how much this coverage has helped them but we've also heard about some women encountering problems while trying to get these services without cost sharing. This toolkit is designed to provide women with information on the coverage of preventive services in the health care law and tools they can use if they encounter problems with this coverage. We have also provided detailed instructions on how to file an appeal with insurance companies and draft appeal letters on a range of preventive services