Pennsylvania Sues Over New Trump Birth-Control Rules

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Pennsylvania is the latest state to file a lawsuit against the Trump administration for rolling back birth control coverage for women.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the lawsuit Wednesday, saying the new rules are breaking the law and undermining women’s health.

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The new rule allows companies to pull birth control for women from their health care coverage for religious and moral beliefs.

“This is a really broad and expansive rule that is going to take birth control coverage away from hundreds and thousands of women across the country,” said Gretchen Borchelt, Vice President for Reproductive Rights and Health at the Women’s Law Center in D.C., which will file the lawsuit along with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. “Some women for health reasons need to take birth control, like women with endometriosis, and other serious health conditions.”

Trump’s policy is designed to roll back parts of former President Barack Obama’s health care law, which required that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost.

“The constitution doesn’t let him do what he is doing, which is basically to respect one religious belief, above all else,” Borchelt said. “To take birth control coverage away from them puts them in a terrible position of having to find it and afford it on their own, or to let that health condition get worse. These are women who need that coverage, and don’t know how they are going to be to afford birth control without it.”

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Other Democratic-leaning states, including Washington, Massachusetts and California, have already sued, as has the American Civil Liberties Union.

Shapiro says the rules violate the Fifth Amendment because they pertain to women and not men and the First Amendment by putting employers’ religious beliefs over the constitutional rights of women.

(TM and © Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

 

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