The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) and other groups filed a lawsuit Friday against President Trump over his decision to eliminate President Obama’s birth control mandate and allow employers to stop offering birth control in their insurance plans on moral or religious grounds, calling the move “blatantly unconstitutional” and in violation of the separation of church and state.
The rules “basically gives broad license to employers to discriminate against their employees and withhold a benefit guaranteed by law,” said Brigitte Amiri, senior staff attorney at the ACLU.
The administration’s new rule allows employers, including colleges, universities, and health insurance companies, to stop including birth-control coverage in their health insurance plans on moral or religious grounds.
The Hill added:
ObamaCare mandated that employers, with a few exceptions, offer health insurance that covers birth control without a co-pay. The move could potentially impact millions of Americans who now receive birth control with no co-payments.
“We will challenge both rules as being blatantly unconstitutional. They both violate the separation of church and state and also discriminate against women by allowing employers to withhold a benefit that is guaranteed by law,” Amiri said.
The ACLU specifically argues that the rules violate the establishment clause and the equal protection clause of the Constitution by “authorizing and promoting religiously motivated and other discrimination against women seeking reproductive health care.”
“We will take immediate legal steps to block these unfair and discriminatory rules,” said Fatima Goss Graves, the president and CEO of the NWLC.
“By taking away women’s access to no-cost birth control coverage, the rules give employers a license to discriminate against women.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said he is prepared to “take all action, including legal action,” to defend the ObamaCare mandate.
“My office has been vigilant when it comes to fighting for health care coverage and ensuring equality in the workplace. I will be suing the Trump administration today to stop this rule and defend critical protections for millions of women in Massachusetts and across the country,” said Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey.
The Center for Reproductive Rights and Americans United for Separation of Church and State said they will also file lawsuits against the Trump administration.