More States Join California in Lawsuit Over Expanded Exception to ACA’s Contraceptive Mandate

A handful of state attorneys general are weighing in on a lawsuit presently before the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in which California and several other states are challenging the Trump administration’s expansion of the exception to the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act (also known as the ACA or Obamacare). Under the ACA, churches and religious nonprofits could claim an exception from the contraceptive mandate. President Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services expanded the exception to allow any business or corporation to deny contraception coverage based on any religious or moral ground.

California and several other states filed a lawsuit to enjoin enforcement, and the federal district court granted the injunction. The administration’s appeal of the injunction is what is currently before the Ninth Circuit. Earlier this month, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a brief in support of the injunction and was joined by the attorneys general of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. Since then, several other states and Washington, DC, have joined the lawsuit asking that the court declare the rule illegal and uphold the lower court’s injunction.

Additional Reading

State of California, et al. v. Alex Azar, II, et al. via Justia Dockets

Brief of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra et al.

N.J. joins multi-state fight against federal birth control coverage exemption, Press of Atlantic City, May 31, 2018

Attorney General Becerra Fights Federal Government’s Attempt to Deny Access to Birth Control, California Office of the Attorney General, May 21, 2018