FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2017
Contact: James Hallinan (505) 660-2216
Albuquerque, NM – This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of 19 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief strongly opposing the Trump Administration’s
decision to roll back a requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for employers to include birth control coverage in their health insurance plans. The amicus brief supports the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s lawsuit challenging a new federal rule that would authorize virtually any employer with a religious or moral objection to contraception to block their
employees, and their employees’ dependents, from receiving health insurance coverage for contraceptive care and services.
“By rolling back the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, President Trump is jeopardizing the health, safety, and welfare of millions of New Mexican and American women,
and he is denying their right to make choices about their own health and future.” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “My office will work aggressively to protect a woman’s fundamental right to choose health options that are best for her.”
Since the ACA 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 the ACA, more than 55 million women in the United States have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs.
In today’s brief, the attorneys general argue that the new rule is unconstitutional by allowing the federal government to endorse certain religious beliefs over a woman’s right to make choices about her own health care.
The attorneys general also argue that the rule discriminates against women and denies equal protection under the law by allowing employers to assert religious beliefs as a justification for denying critical benefits, while leaving coverage for men unchanged. Additionally, they argue that the Trump Administration is taking away the right to contraceptive coverage – a right that millions of women rely on – in violation of the ACA itself, and without any opportunity for public comment and without a careful review of the issue as required by federal law.
In addition to New Mexico Attorney General Balderas, other states joining in today’s amicus brief include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.
Please see attached for a copy of today’s brief.
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