Network Report



The Affordable Care Act and Prenatal Care

For National Women’s Health Week we’re taking a close look at prenatal care. Early access to prenatal care can help identify health risks during pregnancy, and assists health care providers in addressing and managing health conditions that may harm the mother and infant. Starting January 1, 2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes maternity care as one of its Essential Health Benefits, and requires most new health plans to cover prenatal care without cost-sharing. This coverage is especially critical for low-income women.

Read more.

Public Health Law Research

Six New Public Health Law Research Studies Published

Results from six studies investigating various public health laws were published online last week in a special issue of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. The studies cover HPV vaccination policies, lead poisoning prevention laws and specialty courts, state contraceptive mandates, the impact of zoning on walkability, and drug patent laws in India. Three of the six papers were funded by the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) program.

Read the articles here.

Public Health Law Research Call for Proposals Opening Early June

Public Health Law Research will open its fifth call for proposals (CFP) in early June. Short-term studies are no more than 18 months long, and will be funded up to $150,000 each. More detailed instructions outlining the proposal elements, selection criteria and eligibility criteria will be released in June.

Get more information on the PHLR website.


Ethical and Legal Implications of Medical Marijuana Laws - TODAY

Join us today from 1 – 2 p.m. (ET) for a webinar on medical marijuana laws. The webinar addresses some of the ethical and public health problems related to various state medical marijuana laws, provide insights and information about how these problems have been addressed, and provide guidance for states considering medical marijuana laws. The webinar is free and open to all. 

Learn more and register here.

Law and Policy Issues in Reducing Firearm Violence

The next webinar in the Injury Prevention through Policy series explores laws and policies known to reduce levels of firearm-related injuries. Presenter Jon S. Vernick of the National Public Health Law Center will discuss the scope of the problem; best practices, policies and programs for reducing firearm violence; and challenges in public health law related to firearms. The webinar takes place on Wednesday, May 22 from 2 – 3 p.m. (ET).

Learn more and register here.

Legal Resources

Exemptions from School Immunization Requirements Table

This resource provides information regarding statutory and regulatory provisions on school immunization requirements for the 11 states of the Western Region of the Network for Public Health Law. The resource specifically lists laws that allow exemptions from mandatory primary (K-12) school immunization requirements for children on the basis of religious objection, and lists provisions for exemption on the basis of philosophical, personal belief, or conscience objection.

Read more.

Wisconsin Public Health Authorities Fact Sheet

Wisconsin’s public health laws are carried out at the state level by the State Department of Health Services and at the local level by boards of health and local and tribal health departments. This Fact Sheet provides an overview of the legal authority for each of the various Wisconsin health agencies to carry out broad public health functions.

Read more.

Excessive Meat Consumption

Meat is a great source of protein, and Americans consume a lot of it. According to the USDA, the average American eats 82 grams of meat a day – about 30 percent higher than the daily recommended amount. Excessive meat consumption can lead to health problems such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Certain laws that encourage the production of meat by subsidizing the meat industry may be contributing to the overconsumption of meat.

Read more.

Ask the Experts:

Reducing Drug Overdose through Law

Recently the Network received a request from a health advocate in North Carolina who had questions on provisions of SB 20, a recently passed overdose prevention law. The law provides limited immunity to individuals seeking medical attention for drug overdose and reduces liability for individuals who administer naloxone, a drug which can reverse potentially fatal opioid overdose. The requester asked whether the law affects the ability of nurses to prescribe Naloxone.

Read more.

Contact the Network to get legal assistance.


Network People

Dan Orenstein, J.D., is Deputy Director at the Network’s Western Region and a fellow with the Public Health Law and Policy Program at ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where he recently earned his J.D., summa cum laude, with a Certificate in Law, Science & Technology in 2011. As a law student, he was Executive Note & Comment Editor of the Arizona State Law Journal, a teaching assistant in the Legal Writing Program and a legal researcher for the Public Health Law and Policy Program.


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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.