Coalition Of AGs Join Federal Lawsuit, Arguing That New Trump Rules Discriminates Against Female Employees.
New York, NY - November 2, 2017 - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman joined a federal lawsuit to protect New Yorkers’ access to birth control, following new Trump administration rules that would deny contraceptive access by allowing employers to interfere with women’s healthcare choices.
Attorney General Schneiderman, along with the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia, filed an amended complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
The Trump administration’s new rules seek to roll back the contraceptive coverage mandate under the Affordable Care Act. 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 Trump administration believes that a woman’s boss is better suited than the woman is to make her own healthcare decisions. These new rules are unconstitutional – and we’re taking them to court to protect New Yorkers’ basic right to reproductive health care,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “If a woman can’t control her own body, she isn’t truly free. With men in Washington doing whatever they can to undermine women’s freedom and equality, I’ll do everything in my power to fight back and protect New Yorkers.”
The Attorneys General argue that the federal rules violate the Establishment Clause by allowing employers to use their own religious beliefs to discriminate against employees; the Equal Protection Clause by specifically targeting and harming women; and the Administrative Procedure Act by pushing through these new rules without required notice and comment, and without proper factual and legal basis. Additionally, the Attorneys General argue that the rules would cause immediate and irreparable harm to their States by leaving millions of women without access to contraceptives and counseling, and by forcing the States to shoulder the financial and administrative burden as women seek contraceptive access through state programs.
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.