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Trump's Contraception Plan Is Unconstitutional, Blue States Say

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The Trump administration’s plan to roll back a requirement for employers to include birth control in their health insurance plans is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, a group of 19 Democratic state attorneys general said.

Allowing employers with religious or moral objections to contraception to block their employees from receiving coverage violates the constitutional separation of church and state and encourages illegal workplace discrimination against women, the states said in a brief filed Tuesday in federal court in Philadelphia.

More than 55 million women in the U.S. now have access to birth control with no out-of-pocket costs through the birth control coverage requirement, the states said.

(Related: Some Supreme Court Justices Say Birth Control Mandate Hijacks Plans)

Officials in the administration of former President Barack Obama ruled that the basic Affordable Care Act preventive services package should include coverage for birth control. All non-grandfathered plans are supposed to cover the services in the ACA preventive services package without imposing co-payments, deductibles or other cost-sharing requirements on the patients.

President Donald Trump has ratcheted up America’s culture war since his election victory, targeting access to contraception and boosting the rights of religious employers.

Several lawsuit were filed against the proposed contraception rules, including a suits by the American Civil Liberties Union and Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey. Healey is leading the group that filed the brief is Pennsylvania’s lawsuit, after the judge in that case asked for interested parties to weigh in.

—Read New York Fines Excellus $1M Over Birth Control Claim Denials on ThinkAdvisor.

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