Attorney General Herring halts Trump administration’s attempt to limit birth control access

Posted at 11:52 AM, Jan 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-14 11:55:13-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced that Virginia has won a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s efforts to rollback contraception coverage rules only in the states who sued.

In November 2017, the lawsuit was filed  in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to undermine the contraception coverage rule created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Virginia and its partner states won a nationwide injunction in December 2017 that blocked the Trump Administration’s efforts to rollback the contraception coverage rules. A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the injunction last month, but only in the states that had sued over the policy change, which included Virginia, California, Delaware, Maryland and New York, prompting nine other states to join the suit.

Today’s preliminary injunction only applies to those states that are part of the lawsuit.

“This is an important win for Virginia women, and sends a message to the Trump Administration that my colleagues and I will continue to oppose their dangerous, discriminatory, and unlawful infringements on women’s health,” said Attorney General Herring. “Women should be able to make their own healthcare decisions without interference from their employer or the government, especially when it comes to reproductive health. Our decision to fight back against this misguided and unlawful policy will help protect hundreds of thousands of Virginia women.”

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.

The contraception coverage rule has reduced healthcare costs for millions of women. It has also helped address medical conditions, and women 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%.

Attorney General Herring is joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia.