Attorneys general from Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia [official websites] on Wednesday joined [amended complaint, PDF] California’s federal lawsuit against the Trump administration’s regulations that allow employers or health insurers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing coverage for contraceptives in their health insurance plans.
The lawsuit, first filed by California in early October in the US District Court for the Northern District of California [official website], claims that the regulations violate the equal protection and the establishment clauses of the US Constitution. It also claims that the regulations did not have the appropriate notice and comment period required by the Administrative Procedure Act and that the regulations are arbitrary and capricious.
Maryland state law [press release, PDF] still requires state-regulated health plans to provide access for contraceptives, but this state law does not apply to 50 percent of Marylanders who are insured through self-insured health plans. New York state law also protects [press release] contraceptive care for state-funded access, but 1.2 million New York women are covered by self-funded insurance plans that are affected by the new regulations. Virginia’s Attorney General noted [press release] that the contraceptive coverage saves women an average of $255 annually.
The states also join Pennsylvania and Washington [JURIST reports], who filed their own separate challenges to the regulations in early October.