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Nevada joins lawsuit to block Obamacare birth control rollbacks

Updated January 8, 2019 - 8:56 pm

CARSON CITY — New Attorney General Aaron Ford has brought Nevada into a multistate coalition aimed at blocking the Trump administration from rolling back parts of an Affordable Care Act mandate that requires most employers to cover birth control in health insurance plans.

Ford, who was sworn into office Monday, signed onto a pair of amicus briefs filed Monday night in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the Northern District of California. The briefs were filed in support of two lawsuits challenging U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rules that exempt employers with moral or religious objections from following a mandate of the ACA that require them to provide contraception coverage for employees.

The brief filed in the Pennsylvania lawsuit includes 19 other states, and the one filed in California includes eight other states. Both lawsuits allege that the HHS rules would “deprive hundreds of thousands of employees, students, and their dependents of contraceptive coverage, threatening the health and wellbeing of the states’ residents and the economic and public health,” which would force the states to spend millions to provide contraception care to those women.

“Access to contraception is a critical medical need for many Nevadan women and essential to furthering women’s health and equality,” Ford said in a statement. “Contraception also reduces health care costs for Nevada families, while providing the dignity of planning their future. I’m proud to be a part of an effort to make contraception as widely available and affordable as possible.”

The move had the full support of new Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak.

“A woman’s decision about her health and health care choices is not a luxury, it is a right,” Sisolak added in a statement. “The attempts to infringe upon the fundamental right to health and happiness cannot be tolerated. I am proud of the action taken by the state of Nevada and Attorney General Aaron Ford to stand up against this effort to roll back women’s health care rights.” ​

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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