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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, May 21, 2018

Attorney General Becerra Fights Federal Government’s Attempt to Deny Access to Birth Control

In December, AG Becerra secured a nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the federal government’s unlawful action – which the Trump-Pence Administration is now challenging in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal

SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed a legal brief defending the nationwide preliminary injunction California secured on December 21, 2017, protecting birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The preliminary injunction successfully blocked the Trump-Pence Administration’s rules that threaten access to cost-free birth control as required by the ACA for employees and their eligible dependents.

“Access to cost-free birth control puts women and families, not politicians, in charge of making the important decisions involving their healthcare needs. Thirteen million women in California, and millions more across the country, have benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s coverage,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Trump-Pence Administration now wants to take away this coverage and take us back to the bad old days when politicians routinely injected themselves between a woman and her doctor. California stands ready to defend a woman’s right to the healthcare she needs and chooses, including birth control. We will fight against any actions that try to restrict Californians’ access to affordable, quality healthcare.

The Trump-Pence Administration issued its illegal birth control rules on October 6, 2017, and made them effective immediately without any transparency or input from the public. The rules allowed virtually any employer to deny women the cost-free birth control guaranteed by the ACA. To date, 62.4 million women have benefited from that ACA provision, including 13 million women in California, saving $1.4 billion since 2012.

Immediately following the Trump-Pence Administration’s announcement, Attorney General Becerra filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to challenge the federal government’s contraceptive rules. In November, Attorney General Becerra filed a petition for a nationwide injunction to halt the rules, which he successfully obtained in December 2017. The federal court granted the injunction, claiming the federal government failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act, which all federal agencies must abide by when issuing rules.

In filing today’s brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Attorney General Becerra is joined by the Attorneys General of Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia.

A copy of the brief can be found in the electronic version of this release: oag.ca.gov/news.

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