Other Group

Network for Public Health Law (NPHL)

Website:

www.networkforphl.org/%20

Location:

Edina, MN

Type:

Health policy advocacy

Director:

Ann Phi-Wendt

Network for Public Health Law (NPHL) is a left-of-center legal organization that produces articles and research advocating for more government control over healthcare, opposition to state laws limiting access to abortion, and unrestricted distribution of the opioid overdose reversal drug Naloxone. [1] NPHL is a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a left-of-center grant making organization that focuses on health care policy. [2]

Background

Network for Public Health Law was founded in 2010 as a project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, but today receives funding from additional organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control’s Health Law Program. [3]

Advocacy

Abortion Laws

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Network for Public Health Law issued a report outlining various means through which the federal government can curtail state power to limit access to abortion. [4]

NPHL recommended that the Biden administration use the Stafford Act and National Emergencies Act to declare the overturning of Roe v. Wade a national public health emergency. Such a declaration, according to NPHL, would empower the federal government to take emergency steps under the guise of “protect[ing]… public health and safety.” [5] NPHL notes that the definition of a public health emergency is inherently vague, citing weapons proliferation, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, H1N1 influenza, and COVID-19 as other situations where prior administrations have declared public health emergencies. [6]

NPHL asserts that under a national public health emergency , the Biden administration can apply any “countermeasures” that would preempt and override any conflicting state abortion law. [7] More specifically, NPHL has advised the Biden administration to declare mifepristone and misoprostol, two abortion-inducing drugs, as “covered countermeasures” required to address the public health emergency created by allowing states to determine the level of access to abortion in their states. [8] By doing so, the abortion-inducing drugs status as covered countermeasures would override any state law banning such drugs under state determined abortion laws. [9]

Finally, NPHL recommends that the Biden administration support states that will be “hotspots” for individuals seeking out-of-state access to abortion, highlighting Illinois, Minnesota, and New Mexico. [10]

Support for Increased Government Health Intervention

Network for Public Health Law, as part of a working group in conjunction with ChangeLab Solutions, Public Health Law Watch, Public Health Law Center at Mitchell Hamline Law School, and the Center for Public Health Law Research  at Temple University School of Law, supports increasing the powers of public officials to determine the scope of choices individuals can make in response to post-COVID-19 pandemics. [11]

According to NPHL, the “ongoing backlash against public health authority significantly limits public health officials’ ability” to operate and that these conditions require “research and resources to help preserve public health authority and infrastructure wherever challenges arise.” [12]

The working group has hosted multiple seminars discussing how to expand and preserve the broad powers of public health officials. [13] This includes a seminar criticizing state legislative efforts to limit the powers of public health officials and efforts to restore power to legislatures in response to the perceived overreach of public health officials during the COVID-19 pandemic. [14]

Support for Naloxone Access

Network for Public Health Law supports increasing access to Naloxone, a drug which can be used by medical first responders to reverse certain opioid overdoses. [15]

NPHL recommends that California law makers utilize its lenient minor healthcare access laws, which allow minors to obtain access to medication without the consent of their parents, to increase underage access to Naloxone in California. [16]

In addition to California, NPHL has produced white papers providing guidance on how to increase access to Naloxone in Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,  Tennessee, Texas, and Washington. [17]

Leadership

Ann Phi-Wendt is the managing director of Network for Public Health Law and oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization. [18] Prior to joining NPHL, Phi-Wendt was a senior manager at Public Radio International, a defunct public radio organization headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. [19]

References

  1.  “What We Do.” Network for Public Health. https://www.networkforphl.org/about-us/what-we-do/ ^
  2. “About Us.” Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. https://www.rwjf.org/en/about-rwjf.html ^
  3. “Our Supporters & Partners.” Network for Public Health Law. https://www.networkforphl.org/about-us/our-supporters-partners/ ^
  4. [1] “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  5. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  6. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  7. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  8. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  9. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  10. “ABORTION ACCESS: A POST-ROE PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY.” Network for Public Health Law. June 28, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/Western-Region-Memo-Abortion-and-Public-Health-Emergencies.pdf ^
  11. “Act for Public Health.” Network for Public Health Law. https://www.networkforphl.org/resources/topics/initiatives/act-for-public-health/ ^
  12. “Act for Public Health.” Network for Public Health Law. https://www.networkforphl.org/resources/topics/initiatives/act-for-public-health/ ^
  13. “State Efforts to Restrict Public Health Powers.” Public Health Law Watch. https://www.publichealthlawwatch.org/covid19-briefings ^
  14. “State Efforts to Restrict Public Health Powers.” Public Health Law Watch. July 22, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.publichealthlawwatch.org/covid19-briefings ^
  15.  “Legality of Dispensing Naloxone to Minors in California.” Network for Public Health Law. July 14, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/resources/legality-of-dispensing-naloxone-to-minors-in-california/ ^
  16. “Legality of Dispensing Naloxone to Minors in California.” Network for Public Health Law. July 14, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.networkforphl.org/resources/legality-of-dispensing-naloxone-to-minors-in-california/ ^
  17. “Harm Reduction Legal Project.” Network for Public Health Law. https://www.networkforphl.org/resources/topics/projects/harm-reduction-legal-project/ ^
  18. “Ann Phi-Wendt.” Network for Public Health Law.  https://www.networkforphl.org/attorneys-and-staff/ann-phi-wendt/ ^
  19. [1] “Ann Phi-Wendt.” LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/annphiwendt ^
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Network for Public Health Law (NPHL)


Edina, MN