California AG Files to Halt Trump’s Reversal of Contraceptive Mandate

Mother Loraine Marie Maguire, (C), of the Little Sisters of the Poor, walks down the steps
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed a motion Thursday to put a stop to President Donald Trump’s decision to protect employers of faith and moral convictions from the Obama-era contraceptive mandate.

Becerra joins the attorneys general of the states of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia to request a preliminary injunction in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The motion is part of a larger lawsuit against the Trump administration that claims the reversal of the mandate is unconstitutional and harms women.

“The Trump administration has no business putting employers in the position of preventing women from accessing contraceptives,” said California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, according to the Chronicle. “It’s not too long ago that women were asked routinely in job interviews if they used contraceptives and when they planned to have children — we will not go back to those days.”

California, however, is one of eight states that have passed laws mandating employer-based health plans to provide free birth control to workers. Passed in 2014, the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Act covers Medicaid health plans and requires multiple methods of contraception to be covered by insurance.

In a tweet that criticizes the Trump administration for its protection of faith groups and those with moral convictions regarding contraceptives and abortifacients, Planned Parenthood says women should not have to spend up to $600 per year of their own money for their birth control:

In October, Trump rescinded the Obama-era contraceptive mandate. The Obamacare rule sparked dozens of lawsuits by faith groups – among the most well-known that of the Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order that cares for the elderly poor and would have been forced to pay millions of dollars in fines because their faith beliefs conflicted with the Obama mandate. The new rule leaves free contraception in place for the vast majority of women since it only concerns employers with moral and religious objections.

The mandate was inserted into Obamacare by former HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius – an abortion activist – and bureaucrats in her department. Following objections by many religious employers to the requirements of the mandate, the Obama administration devised “accommodations” that only gave the appearance the religious groups would not be footing the bill for the federal government’s mandate of the contraceptive drugs and sterilization procedures.

Planned Parenthood – which benefits financially from wider distribution of contraceptives – NARAL, other left-wing groups, and their political and media advocates have attempted to portray Trump and other Republicans as intent on taking away women’s birth control by reversing the mandate. The Obama administration itself, however, actually exempted at least 25 million Americans, through various exemption allowances, from its own rule – including major U.S. cities, the U.S. military, and mega-corporations such as Chevron, Exxon, Visa, and Pepsi Bottling.

The Supreme Court’s decision last year in Zubik vs. Burwell sent the case of the Little Sisters and other faith organizations back to the lower courts and, in effect, protected these groups from the contraceptive mandate’s onerous fines. The new Trump administration rule will now protect a larger group of employers from the mandate, and not just the “closely held” private companies – such as Hobby Lobby – which the U.S. Supreme Court also ruled could be exempt due to religious objections.


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