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Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Attorneys General Speak Out Against Trump Administration’s Refusal to Comply with Court Order on Birth Control Coverage Under The ACA

September 18, 2019

Contact: Charity R. Clark, Chief of Staff, 802-828-3171

Attorney General T.J. Donovan and a coalition of 14 other attorneys general have a message for the Trump Administration: Comply immediately with the court-ordered injunction in California v. Azar. The injunction, secured earlier this year, stopped the Trump Administration’s attempt to remove cost-free birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite the injunction from the court, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has yet to update its website and inform the public about the injunction and its impact on their contraceptive coverage.

“The ACA is still the law of the land—under it, women have a right to reproductive health care including access to free contraceptive coverage,” said Attorney General Donovan. “The Trump Administration needs to comply.”

Contraceptive coverage under the ACA has made access to the full range of contraceptive options affordable to millions of women and families since its enactment in 2012. On October 6, 2017, the Trump Administration issued rules that effectively deprived women of their right to birth control under the ACA. Specifically, the rules significantly broadened the exemption to nearly any employer to deny women cost-free birth control. A coalition of attorneys general fought back and secured a nationwide injunction in December of 2017. Nearly a year later, the Trump Administration issued final rules that were nearly identical to the interim final rules. The coalition quickly challenged the rule and secured yet another injunction, protecting access to birth control for millions of women across the country.

Despite that injunction being in place, HHS and the U.S. Department of Labor websites both state that employers can opt out of providing contraceptive coverage. This is not true and would be in violation of the court orders. Further, another HHS webpage lists all of the preventive services mandated under the ACA, but does not include contraceptive coverage.

In today’s letter, Attorney General Donovan, along with the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, urged the Trump Administration to comply with the injunction.

The letter can be found here.

Last modified: September 18, 2019