Attorney General Josh Shapiro Sues President Trump and Trump Administration for Eliminating Guaranteed Contraceptive Care

October 11, 2017 | Topic: Rights

PHILADELPHIA — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today sued President Donald J. Trump and the Trump Administration for issuing new rules that allow virtually any company to deny women insurance coverage for basic, medically-necessary contraception.

According to the lawsuit filed today in the United States District Court in Philadelphia, the rules issued by the Trump Administration on October 6 violate federal law, which requires insurance companies to cover preventive health care services, including contraception, with no co-pay. The administration’s illegal action and new rules mean that 2.5 million Pennsylvania women and their families could have to pay more for basic health care.

“The federal government – under the direction of the Trump Administration – broke the law and undermined the health and economic independence of American women,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said today at a news conference in Philadelphia with women’s health advocates and members of the medical community. “Today I filed a lawsuit in federal court to stop them.”

In announcing the lawsuit at a Planned Parenthood health center in Philadelphia, Shapiro said, “The Administration’s illegal rules threaten the health coverage of 2.5 million Pennsylvania women. Previously, exceptions to this mandate were extremely narrow. Now, as a result of these new rules, virtually any employer can refuse to provide coverage for contraceptive services for their employees, who will now have to pay more for health care.”

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s lawsuit, filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, makes the following legal claims about the Trump Administration’s new rules:

  • The rules violate the Due Process Clause of the 5th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and deny women equal protection under the law.
  • The rules violate the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act prohibits sex discrimination on the basis of pregnancy and importantly, “related medical conditions.”
  • The rules violate the Establishment Clause of the 1st Amendment, by elevating employers’ religious beliefs over the constitutional rights, and statutory guarantees, of women.
  • The hasty, overnight implementation of the rules violates the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because the Trump Administration failed to give notice or allow public input on the rules.
  • The rules also violate the APA’s requirements that federal rules may not be arbitrary or capricious.

“As a result of these abuses, which replace evidence-based science and medical reasoning with political calculation, millions of women could be penalized and denied needed contraceptive care against the advice of science, public health and medical professionals,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “They violated the rule of law in the way in which they promulgated this regulation, and today we filed this suit to stop them.”

# # #