On Friday morning, President Trump announced his intention to strip the birth control requirements from ObamaCare. By Friday evening, States representing 46 million Americans had sued the President.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra fired the first salvo. In a statement released soon after the announcement, Becerra wrote, “Donald Trump wants businesses and corporations to control family planning decisions rather than a woman in consultation with her doctor. These anti-women’s health regulations prove once again that the Trump Administration is willing to trample on people’s rights.”
“What group of Americans will they target next?” his statement continues. “Will they allow businesses to deny you cancer treatment? Will they exclude you from insurance coverage because of a pre-existing health condition? The California Department of Justice will fight to protect every woman’s right to healthcare, including reproductive healthcare. We’ll see the Trump Administration in court.”
Later Friday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey followed suit. Speaking to MSNBC’s Ari Melber, Healey said, “This is about a systematic effort to eviscerate and undermine completely women’s access to health care.”
Healey also spoke out about the language in the new exemptions that allow employers an opt-out of the mandate not simply on religious grounds, but for more broad and ill-defined moral grounds that would, “allow the boss to deny care to women or to other employees.”
“That’s just wrong,” Healey said emphatically. “And that’s what’s really scary — the idea that somebody, an employer, could make a moral objection that would deny women access to needed health care really opens up, to a scary degree, any number of options.”
Together, California and Massachusetts represent 46 million Americans, and they’re sure to be just the tip of the iceberg.
The popular birth control provision mandated that all health insurance plans offered by employers to their workers include coverage of birth control for women. Churches, religious non-profits and a few other categories of employers were exempted from the mandate on religious grounds. Friday’s announcement that President Trump would expand the exemptions effectively killed the mandate and leaves millions of American women holding the bag.