2 States Sue Over Trump Decision on Birth Control

Massachusetts, California take action
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2017 11:14 AM CDT
2 States Sue Over Trump Decision on Birth Control
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura?Healey, seen here in January, sued the Trump administration Friday over its decision to allow religious and moral objections to birth control coverage. California also sued.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Two attorneys general filed lawsuits Friday over the Trump administration's decision to allow businesses to refuse to cover employees' birth control in their insurance plans. The move rolled back a mandate of the Affordable Care Act and allows companies to claim moral or religious objections to providing birth control coverage. “Donald Trump wants businesses and corporations to control family planning decisions rather than a woman in consultation with her doctor," the Hill quotes California Attorney General Xavier Bercerra as saying. "By gutting this mandate, the religious belief of employers will replace the basic right of a woman to care for herself and her family," MassLives quotes Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey as saying. Both attorneys general filed lawsuits Friday.

Bercerra claims the Trump administration's decision represents illegal discrimination against women, puts the financial burden of providing birth control on the state, and violates the First Amendment by allowing religious beliefs to infringe on federal benefits, the Los Angeles Times reports. “What group of Americans will they target next? Will they allow businesses to deny you cancer treatment? Will they exclude you from insurance coverage because of a pre-existing health condition?" Bercerra says. Healey calls the move "a direct attack on women's health." Becerra has filed more than two dozen legal challenges against the Trump administration, and Healey has filed lawsuits challenging its travel ban and changes to environmental rules. (More birth control stories.)

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