Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson sues to block Trump’s rules over contraception access

The lawsuit alleges Trump’s new rules violate equal-protection guarantees and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom by allowing companies to use religious beliefs as a right to deny woman a federally entitled health benefit.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to block President Donald Trump’s recent revision to the Affordable Care Act that allows insurers and employers to opt out of covering contraceptives in their health insurance plans.

Charging the president with discrimination against women, the 30-page complaint claims the new rules violate equal-protection clauses and constitutional guarantees of religious freedom by allowing companies to use religious beliefs as a right to deny woman a federally entitled health benefit.

With the lawsuit, Washington joins several states and legal organizations suing over the new policy on contraceptives, which the president announced Friday.

“This is a senseless and reckless political ploy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said on Twitter Monday, declaring his support for Ferguson’s lawsuit. “Washington state will not let this stand.”

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The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Seattle alleges the Trump administration’s actions jeopardize women’s “health and economic success” in order to promote certain religious and moral views, as well as go against federal laws by acting without adequate notice or allowing for public comment.

The new rules, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, roll back Obama-era federal requirements that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women, at no additional cost. They took effect Friday; for-profit companies and nonprofits are now allowed to cite a religious or moral objection to providing coverage for contraception. But the impact of the policy change will not be immediately known. Tens of thousands…

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