Attorney General Herring Wins Nationwide Injunction Against Rollback Of Contraception CoveragePosted: Updated:
Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Attorney General
RICHMOND (December 21, 2017) - Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced today that Virginia and its partner states have won a nationwide injunction blocking President Trump's efforts to rollback contraception coverage rules.
The Court found that Virginia and its fellow plaintiff states are likely to succeed in showing that President Trump's unilateral rollback of contraception was unlawful, and that the states and their citizens would be harmed unless the court blocked rollback efforts. The contraception coverage rule created by the Affordable Care Act has allowed 1.6 million women in Virginia to access contraception without a co-pay, saving an average of $255 per year.
"This is a really important win for Virginia women, and it's an important reminder to President Trump and his administration that they cannot rule by whim and command," said Attorney General Herring. "Women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions and should not have to seek permission from their boss or the government to do so, especially on a decision as personal as reproductive health. I'm proud to have worked alongside my colleagues around the country to secure this injunction, and will continue to oppose the Trump administration's dangerous, discriminatory, and unlawful infringement on women's rights."
On October 6, 2017, the Trump administration issued unlawful Interim Final Rules (IFRs) that would allow any employer to deny contraception coverage to its employees.
Attorney General Herring and his fellow state attorneys general filed suit in federal court challenging President Trump's move to roll back the contraception coverage mandate.
In issuing today's injunction, the Court found that "for a substantial number of women, the 2017 IFRs transform contraceptive coverage from a legal entitlement to an essentially gratuitous benefit wholly subject to their employer's discretion. The impact on the rules governing the health insurance coverage of Plaintiffs' citizens-and the stability of that coverage-was immediate..."
The Court also noted that "Plaintiffs face potentially dire public health and fiscal consequences as a result of a process as to which they had no input."
And finally, the Court stated that the previous contraception coverage rule that was in place prior to President Trump's rollback in October "did not impose a substantial burden on religious exercise."
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%.
Joining Attorney General Herring in the suit are attorneys general from California, Delaware, Maryland and New York.