Washington State AG Files Suit Against Birth Control Opt-Out
By Cathy Burke | NEWSMAX
Washington’s attorney general filed a lawsuit Monday challenging President Donald Trump’s new rules allowing more employers to opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women by claiming religious or moral objections.
In a statement, Attorney General Bob Ferguson cited a study that found contraception costs can exceed $1,000 a year without insurance covered.
“President Trump’s contraception rules are unfair, unlawful, and unconstitutional,” the Democratic prosecutor said. “I refuse to let President Trump disregard our laws and our constitution in an effort to deny women access to contraception.”
Ferguson claims the new rules, which rollback an Obamacare mandate, violate the First Amendment by “requiring individuals to bear the burdens of religions to which they do not belong,” as well as the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment.
He also says the rules violate provisions of the Civil Rights Act.
“The Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination against women based on sex or the capacity to be pregnant,” the statement read. “The rules result in women having less access to reproductive healthcare, which is discrimination based on their gender.”
Ferguson is seeking an injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to stop the rules from taking effect.
He is the second state attorney general to file a suit against the policy, after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.