Thursday, March 25, 2021
In honor of Women's History Month, we are highlighting select legal or policy issues affecting women’s health including: economic stability and well-being, pregnancy discrimination, and maternal depression. The law and policy solutions discussed have the potential to improve life for women and girls for generations to come. Learn more.
Our Statement on Violence Against Asian Communities and Racism as a Public Health Crisis
The rise in anti-Asian sentiment is closely intertwined with the COVID-19 pandemic, and the xenophobic language used by some government leaders has further fueled discrimination and hate crimes against Asian communities in America. The violent, physical attacks on people of Asian descent around the country, and the horrific shootings in Atlanta — which the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and many other communities believe was racially motivated — are glaring examples of why racism is a public health crisis. Read more.
One Month of Executive Orders for the Biden Administration: Public Health Impact
As of February 20, President Biden had issued 32 Executive Orders (EOs), several of which are intended to protect the public’s health. While the majority of the EOs use the power of the federal government to protect Americans from contracting COVID-19, there are also measures designed to strengthen U.S. public health infrastructure more broadly, and address the impact of climate change more specifically.
Moving Past Disbelief in Systemic Racism to Understand What it Means For Health Equity
Since the Biden Administration released its plan to advance racial equity in the United States, there has been significant pushback against the idea that systemic racism even exists. This questioning is not new, but it has taken on a renewed fervor as state and local governments, professional associations, hospitals and health systems, and corporations have made public commitments to addressing systemic racism and treating racism as a public health crisis.
Biden Administration Executive Orders: Public Health Impact Chart
In the early months of his administration, President Biden has issued multiple executive orders (EOs), many of which directly affect public health, both broadly and with regard to specific public health crises, including the COVID pandemic and the effects of climate and extreme weather events. This table details the Biden Administration EOs that impact public health and provides a summary of each EOs’ provisions.
COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future
As the United States marks one year of the COVID-19 pandemic, 50 top public health legal experts offer a new assessment of the U.S. policy response to the crisis. This new report offers policy recommendations on 35 wide-ranging topics, from strengthening pandemic preparedness and expanding health care to conducting sound elections and adapting immigration policy. Designed to advise leaders at the federal, state and local level, the report presents a timely examination of policy challenges and opportunities in light of the pandemic.
Housing Matters: Legal and Policy Approaches to Preventing Housing Instability
TODAY: 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST | March 25, 2021
Eviction has damaging health consequences that can last lifetimes, or even generations. Families grappling with housing uncertainty experience physical and mental health challenges, from elevated rates of childhood and chronic disease and mortality, to stress, depression, anxiety and suicide. Nationwide, Black and Hispanic renters in general, and women in particular, are disproportionately threatened with eviction and disproportionately evicted from their homes. Attend this webinar to learn about state and local legal approaches to preventing eviction and its devastating public health consequences.
Legal Protections to Prevent Discrimination Against Medical Cannabis Patients
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. EST | April 8
Despite legal recognition and medical oversight, medical cannabis patients are often subjected to harmful discrimination that can impact their employment opportunities, housing options, educational opportunities, and other vital aspects of their lives. States are beginning to recognize that this discrimination is a serious public health challenge that requires legal intervention to address its harmful effects. Attend this webinar to learn about the variety of state legislative protections provided to medical cannabis patients and how medical cannabis is treated by state workers’ compensation programs.
COVID’S Constitutional Conundrum: Assessing Individual Rights in Public Health Emergencies
This article, published in the Tennessee Law Review, and co-authored by James Hodge, Jr., director, and Jennifer L. Piatt, senior attorney, at the Network’s Western Region Office, addresses the response of courts to the considerable legal challenges alleging infringements of constitutional rights that have arisen against governments imposing social distancing or other restrictive measures to quell the COVID-19 pandemic. The article’s authors argue that in public health emergencies, courts should engage in guided assessments focused on the execution, efficacy, and purpose of public health interventions as a constitutional prerogative instead of examining alleged rights infringements framed outside crisis contexts.
Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!
The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.