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Fifteen States and D.C. Are Now Suing the Government Over Contraceptive Coverage

Ten additional states, and the District of Columbia, have joined lawsuits against the Trump administration, over allowing groups to opt out of covering birth control for their employees.

The policies are set to go into effect January 14th. Right now, under the Affordable Care Act, most employers that provide health insurance for their employees have to cover contraceptives, with the exception of churches that have an objection to birth control. The new rules let more non-governmental groups with moral or religious objections opt out, including non-profits, private companies, colleges and universities, and insurance companies. (No insurance companies are expected to make use of the new rules, Health Affairs reported in November.)

The rules are being challenged in two different, multi-state court cases. The attorneys general of California and Pennsylvania are leading the suits, and both had new states join them in December, for a total of 15 states, plus Washington, D.C.

Hearings on the East and West Coasts are set for next week. Judges for both are expected to decide on whether to issue a preliminary injunction on the rules before January 14th, Health Affairs reports.