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One focal point of this debate has been the courts, which have been asked repeatedly to decide whether employers’ failure to provide insurance coverage for prescription contraceptives constitutes either sex discrimination or pregnancy discrimination.

Now, the very same legal issue is at the core of a recent ruling by a federal judge in EEOC v. Houston Funding Inc. that lactation discrimination is not actionable under Title VII or the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) because lactation is, the judge reasoned, not related to pregnancy. In this column, I’ll consider this recent case, as well as earlier cases on contraceptive equity and infertility discrimination, which raise similar questions about how far the law goes— and should go—to protect women against reproduction discrimination.