Attorney General Mark Herring announced today that Virginia and its partner states have won a preliminary injunction blocking President Trump’s efforts to rollback contraception coverage rules only in the states who sued. The lawsuit was filed in November 2017 in response to the Trump Administration’s decision to undermine the contraception coverage rule created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In December 2017, Virginia and its partner states won a nationwide injunction blocking the Trump Administration’s efforts to rollback the contraception coverage rules. Last month, a U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the injunction, 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.
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%.
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.