Attorney General Josh Shapiro Leads Amicus Brief to Maintain Women’s Health Coverage

September 25, 2018 | Topic: Rights

17 States Join to Stop Trump Administration’s Effort to Roll Back Contraceptive Coverage

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed an amicus brief on behalf of a coalition of 17 Attorneys General to support a lawsuit by Massachusetts challenging the Trump administration’s decision to roll back a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that employers include contraceptive coverage for women in their health insurance plans.

In December 2017, Pennsylvania won a nationwide injunction from Federal Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a lawsuit challenging the Administration’s actions. That ruling stopped the Trump Administration’s rules undermining the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide their employees with contraceptive coverage. The Trump administration is appealing that injunction. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also sued the Trump Administration over its plans to change this critical rule, and the amicus brief filed today by Attorney General Shapiro and the other Attorneys General supports Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s lawsuit.

“The Trump Administration persists in its efforts to impose illegal rules that will undermine the health and economic security of American women,” said Attorney General Shapiro.  “We stopped them last year when we obtained an injunction, but their efforts continue to threaten the rights of women everywhere to health care coverage. I’ve been an unwavering supporter of a woman’s right to access affordable health care for my whole career, and I’m going to keep fighting for these basic, fundamental rights for women in Pennsylvania and across the country.”

The amicus brief filed Monday with the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston, supports Massachusetts’ appeal to stop the federal government from implementing new rules that authorize virtually any employer with a religious or moral objection to disregard its legal obligation to provide its employees and their dependents with coverage for contraceptive care.  According to the brief, rules issued by the Trump Administration violate the Affordable Care Act, which requires insurance companies to cover preventive health care services, including contraception, with no co-pays.

As a result of the ACA, more than 55 million women in the United States — including 2.5 million Pennsylvania women and families — have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs.

In addition to Attorney General Shapiro, the amicus brief was joined by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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