Amicus Briefs Filed in Federal District Courts in Pennsylvania andCalifornia in Support of Lawsuits Seeking a Preliminary Injunction of the Final Rules
January 8, 2019
Carson City, NV – Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford joined a coalition of state attorneys general in filing two friend-of-the-court briefs asking the courts to prevent the Trump Administration from rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans.
The briefs, filed Monday night in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Northern District of California, support lawsuits filed by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and California, respectively. These briefs ask the courts 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.
“Access to contraception is a critical medical need for many Nevadan women and essential to furthering women’s health and equality,” said Attorney General Aaron Ford. “Contraception also reduces health care costs for Nevada families, while providing the dignity of planning their future. I’m proud to be a part of an effort to make contraception as widely available and affordable as possible.”
"A woman's decision about her health and health care choices is not a luxury, it is a right," added Governor Steve Sisolak. "The attempts to infringe upon the fundamental right to health and happiness cannot be tolerated. I am proud of the action taken by the State of Nevada and Attorney General Aaron Ford to stand up against this effort to roll back women's health care rights."
Since the Affordable Care Act 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 this Act, more than 55 million women in the United States have access to a range of Federal Drug Administration-approved methods of birth control, including the longest-acting and most effective ones, with no out-of-pocket costs.
In their briefs, the state attorneys general argue that the new regulations threaten the health, wellbeing and economic stability of hundreds of thousands of residents by depriving them of contraception coverage. As a result, the attorneys general contend that 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 that the courts should therefore impose a national preliminary injunction to prevent this from occurring.
In addition to Nevada, the following states have joined the Pennsylvania and California briefs seeking a preliminary injunction: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, as well as the District of Columbia. Joining Massachusetts in filing the amicus brief in the Northern District of California are the attorneys general of: Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Oregon.