Coalition Of AGs File For Injunction Following Their Lawsuit To Protect Birth Control Access
Over 62.4 Million Women Have Benefitted From ACA Contraceptive Coverage, Including 3.8 Million New Yorkers
New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman joined a coalition of Attorneys General in filing a petition for a nationwide injunction to protect New Yorkers’ access to birth control and halt the Trump administration’s rules that would allow employers to deny women cost-free birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Attorney General Schneiderman, along with the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, filed the motion for a preliminary injunctionlast night with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The filing follows a federal lawsuit filed by the same coalition of Attorneys General earlier this month.
“If a woman can’t control her own body, she isn’t truly free,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Healthcare decisions should be made by a woman – not her boss. These retrograde rules seek to deny basic healthcare to millions of women in New York and across the country. We’ll continue to fight back and protect New Yorkers.”
The Trump administration’s rules seek to roll back the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act by giving employers — even publicly traded companies — the ability to opt out. Since the ACA’s requirement to cover contraceptives took effect in 2012, it’s saved American women $1.4 billion. Over 62.4 million women have benefitted from the coverage, including 3.8 million in New York. The ACA already included an exemption for religious organizations, together with an accommodation for women in those organizations to ensure they have coverage.
New York has one of the highest rates of unintended pregnancy in the nation, and the risk of unintended pregnancy is greatest among the most vulnerable women. While New York has some regulations to protect contraceptive access, they do not apply to self-funded insurance plans, which are governed by federal law and regulated by the federal government. Therefore, as a result of the Trump administration’s new rules, the nearly 1.2 million New York women covered by self-funded employer plans may be forced to seek state-funded access (a cost that would be borne by New York) or forego contraceptive care altogether.
In January, Attorney General Schneiderman introduced the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, which would protect and enhance New Yorkers’ access to cost-free contraception, no matter what happens in Washington.