September 19, 2019
ATTORNEY GENERAL RAOUL URGES FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO COMPLY WITH INJUNCTION THAT HALTED BIRTH CONTROL REFUSAL RULE
Chicago — Attorney General Kwame Raoul, as part of a coalition of 15 attorneys general, urged the federal government to immediately comply with the court-ordered injunction in California v. Azar. The injunction secured by Illinois and 13 other states earlier this year halted the federal government’s attempt to strip access to cost-free birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In the letter, Raoul and the coalition urge the federal government to update its website and inform the public about the injunction and its impact on their contraceptive coverage. Despite that injunction being in place, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor websites state that employers can opt out of providing contraceptive coverage, 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.
“By failing to comply with this injunction, the federal government is ignoring the court’s decision and providing the public with misleading and false information in relation to women’s health care choices,” Raoul said. “Employers do not have the right to stand between their female employees and the reproductive health care they need. I will continue to fight any attempt by the federal government to interfere with a woman’s control of her own body and access to critical health care services.”
Since the ACA’s Women’s Health Amendment was put into place in 2012, 62 million women have benefitted from this provision. On Oct. 6, 2017, the federal government issued rules that allowed virtually any employer to deny women cost-free birth control that was guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act. A coalition of attorneys general secured a nationwide injunction in December of 2017. Nearly a year later, the federal government issued final rules that were nearly identical to the interim rules. The coalition quickly challenged the rule and secured yet another injunction, protecting access to birth control for millions of women across the country.
Joining Raoul in sending the letter are the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.