RICHMOND, Dec. 20, 2018 – Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that nine additional states have joined his lawsuit that was filed in November 2017 in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to undermine the contraception coverage rule created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In December of last year, Virginia and its partner states won a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump Administration’s efforts to rollback the contraception coverage rules. Last week, a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, but only in the states that had sued over the policy change, which included Virginia, California, Delaware, Maryland and New York, prompting other states to join the suit. The amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunction was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
“Women should be able to make their own decisions about their body and their healthcare, especially when it comes to reproductive health,” said Attorney General Herring. “While we have already won a preliminary injunction in this case, we must continue to fight to protect affordable contraception coverage and ensure that women have the freedom of choice when it comes to their reproductive health. I am pleased that other states have realized the importance of the contraception coverage rule and have decided to join us in protecting them.”
The Trump Administration’s amended rules, which are set to go into effect on January 14, 2019, would jeopardize the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers provide coverage of all 18 FDA-approved birth control methods and counseling for employees and their covered dependents with no out-of-pocket costs.
For millions of women the contraception coverage rule has reduced their healthcare costs, helped address medical conditions, and allowed them to make their own decisions about when and if to have children. Before the contraception coverage rule, birth control accounted for 30-44% of a woman’s out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Now, 62 million women across the country, including 1.6 million women in Virginia, have access to contraception without a co-pay, saving an average of $255 per year for oral pill contraceptives, and the percentage of women who have a co-pay for contraception has fallen from more than 20% to less than 4%.
In filing the amended complaint and motion for preliminary injunction, Attorney General Herring is joined by the Attorneys General of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawai’i, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.