Thursday, June 4, 2020

Michigan to join lawsuit to end denial of birth control coverage

January 8, 2019
Dana Nessel takes questions from students in the MSU College of Democrats on Oct. 22, 2018 at Wells Hall. Nessel is running for Michigan attorney general in the upcoming election.
Dana Nessel takes questions from students in the MSU College of Democrats on Oct. 22, 2018 at Wells Hall. Nessel is running for Michigan attorney general in the upcoming election. —
Photo by Sylvia Jarrus | The State News

Michigan will join Massachusetts and other states in backing a lawsuit challenging a federal rule allowing employers to deny their employees insurance coverage for birth control, Attorney General Dana Nessel's office announced Monday.

The goal of filing the amicus brief is to “ensure seamless access to preventative medical – specifically contraceptive care and services – as guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act for employees and students,” Nessel said in a statement.

Nessel, a Democrat, said while Michigan was not one of the original states to join in on the lawsuit, it had a “compelling interest” to protect the health of its residents.

“We are committed to ensuring a strong and robust regulatory framework that makes contraception widely available and as affordable as possible to advance educational opportunity, workplace equality and financial empowerment for women, to improve the health of women and children and to reduce healthcare-related costs for individuals, families and the State of Michigan,” Nessel said.

In October 2017, President Donald Trump's administration moved to allow employers to not pay for contraceptives for their employees for moral or religious reasons. The rollback prompted Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey to file suit, a move supported by 16 other states at the time, according to a press release.

Nessel’s press secretary declined further comment.

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