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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

900 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219


For media inquiries only, contact:  
Lara Sisselman, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



~ Amicus Brief Filed in Support of Pennsylvania's Lawsuit, AG Herring filed similar lawsuit in Northern District of California ~

RICHMOND (November 28, 2017) - As part of his ongoing efforts to protect women's access to contraception coverage, Attorney General Mark R. Herring today joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief opposing the Trump Administration's decision to roll back a requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. The contraception coverage rule allowed 1.6 million women in Virginia to access contraception without a co-pay, saving an average of $255 per year


Attorney General Herring filed a similar suit in the Northern District of California with state attorneys general from California, Delaware, Maryland and New York.


"President Trump's move to rollback contraception coverage is discriminatory, dangerous, and illegal, and that's why I'm joining with my fellow state attorneys general to fight back," said Attorney General Mark Herring. "Women should have the freedom to make their own healthcare decisions, especially when it comes to something as personal as reproductive health, and I won't stop working to protect affordable contraception coverage for women across Virginia and across the country."  


The amicus brief, filed today with the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, supports the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's lawsuit seeking to stop the federal government from enforcing a new regulatory rule that would authorize virtually any employer with a religious or moral objection to contraception to block their employees, and their employees' dependents, from receiving health insurance coverage for contraceptive care and services. 


In today's brief, the attorneys general argue that the new rule is unconstitutional by allowing the federal government to endorse certain religious beliefs over a woman's right to make choices about her own health care.


The attorneys general also argue that the rule discriminates against women and denies equal protection under the law by allowing employers to assert religious beliefs as a justification for denying critical benefits, while leaving coverage for men unchanged. Additionally, they argue that the Trump Administration is taking away the right to contraceptive coverage - a right that millions of women rely on - in violation of the ACA itself, and without any opportunity for public comment and without a careful review of the issue as required by federal law.


For millions of women the contraception coverage rule has reduced their healthcare costs, helped address medical conditions, and allowed them to make their own decisions about when and if to have children. Before the contraception coverage rule, birth control accounted for 30-44% of a woman's out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Now, 62 million women across the country, including 1.6 million women in Virginia, have access to contraception without a co-pay, saving an average of $255 per year for oral pill contraceptives, and the percentage of women who have a co-pay for contraception has fallen from more than 20% to less than 4%.


Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today's amicus brief are attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.