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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

HERRING CONTINUES TO FIGHT AGAINST TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ROLL BACK OF CONTRACEPTIVE COVERAGE MANDATE

~ In addition to previous lawsuit filed in November 2017, Herring joins amicus brief supporting lawsuit seeking a preliminary injunction of the final rules ~

RICHMOND (January 8, 2019) – In addition to his previous lawsuit filed in November 2017 that resulted in a preliminary injunction, Attorney General Mark R. Herring has filed an amicus brief asking the court to stop the Trump Administration from rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. The amicus brief, filed yesterday in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, supports a lawsuit filed by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The lawsuit asks the court to issue a national preliminary injunction stopping the federal government from implementing new regulations that authorize employers with a religious or moral objection to block their employees and their employees’ dependents from receiving insurance coverage for contraceptive care and services. 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.

 

“While we have won a preliminary injunction in a similar lawsuit, that injunction does not apply nationwide, which is why I have joined this amicus,” said Attorney General Herring “Women across the country deserve the right to make their own decisions about their bodies, especially when it comes to their reproductive health. I will continue this fight until all women have access to affordable, quality contraceptive coverage under the law.”

 

Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, most employers who provide health insurance coverage to their employees have been required to include coverage for contraception, at no cost to the employee. As a result of the ACA, more than 55 million women in the United States, including 1.6 million in Virginia, have access to a range of FDA-approved methods of birth control, including the longest-acting and most effective ones, with no out-of-pocket costs.

 

In the brief, the attorneys general argue that the new regulations threaten the health, wellbeing, and the economic stability of hundreds of thousands of residents by depriving them of contraception coverage. As a result, the attorneys general contend their states will be forced to spend millions of dollars to provide their residents with state-funded replacement contraceptive care and services. The states further argue that the expanded religious exemption included in the final regulations will cause women in every single state to lose contraception coverage and thus the courts should impose a preliminary injunction.

 

“Access to contraception advances educational opportunity, workplace equality, and financial empowerment for women; improves the health of women and children; and reduces healthcare-related costs for individuals, families, and States,” the state attorneys general wrote in the brief.

 

In December 2017, Attorney General Herring secured a nationwide preliminary injunction that stopped implementation of the interim rules. The district court ruled that the regulations violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

 

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

 

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