Wednesday, May 02, 2018

HHS Investigating Legality of Hawaii Notice Requirements For Pregnancy Clinics

An ADF press release on Monday reports that the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has initiated an investigation on behalf of A Place for Women, a limited service pregnancy center in Hawaii.  At issue is the requirement in Hawaii Act 200 enacted last year requiring such centers to disseminate on-site to patients a notice that says in part:
Hawaii has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, including, but not limited to, all FDA-approved methods of contraception and pregnancy-related services for eligible women. To apply online for medical insurance coverage, that will cover the full range of family planning and prenatal care services, go to
The letter from HHS to ADF, which filed a complaint with it, says in part:
Under federal regulations, OCR is designated to receive complaints based on federal laws that protect conscience and prevent coercion, including the Weldon Amendment, the Coats-Snowe Amendment, and the Church Amendments.  OCR has reviewed the Complaint and has determined that it has sufficient authority and cause to investigate the allegations under one or more of these laws.