Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro [official website] on Wednesday filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] against President Donald Trump and his administration over the issuance of new rules allowing employers to deny coverage for contraception.
The complaint alleges that the rules issued by Trump last week violate federal law, which requires insurance carriers to cover preventive healthcare services including contraception without asking for co-pay. The complaint further alleges that the rules, titled Moral Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services and Religious Exemptions and Accommodations for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services under the Affordable Care Act [texts, PDF], violate the Administrative Procedure Act, the Affordable Care Act, the guarantee of equal protection enshrined in the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment adding that: “If Defendants are not blocked from implementing their unlawful rules, direct harm will result to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the medical and economic health of its residents.”
Speaking of the complaint, Shapiro stated [press release]:
The federal government—under the direction of the Trump Administration—broke the law and undermined the health and economic independence of American women. … The Administration’s illegal rules threaten the health coverage of 2.5 million Pennsylvania women. Previously, exceptions to this mandate were extremely narrow. Now, as a result of these new rules, virtually any employer can refuse to provide coverage for contraceptive services for their employees, who will now have to pay more for health care. … As a result of these abuses [i.e. violations of various federal laws], which replace evidence-based science and medical reasoning with political calculation, millions of women could be penalized and denied needed contraceptive care against the advice of science, public health and medical professionals.
This complaint comes two days after the state of Washington filed its own complaint [JURIST report] against the new rules. The Pennsylvania complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief holding the new rules unlawful and preventing their further implementation.