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Democratic Attorneys General Actions Timeline: Protecting Reproductive Rights

Employer Contraception Coverage: PROTECTED In 2017, the Trump administration attempted to impose a rule that would allow employers to refuse to provide no-cost contraceptive coverage to women employees by citing religious or moral objections. This rule was blocked by lawsuits brought separately by Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro and California AG Xavier Becerra. In 2019, the Trump administration tried to implement a revised rule that would still rollback the contraception coverage mandate. Democratic AGs sued again—and secured preliminary injunctions again. Timeline of Actions
  • October 2017: 18 Democratic AGs wrote a letter to the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor warning the Trump administration of their intention to sue over the rollback of the contraception mandate
  • In October 2017, four Democratic AGs filed separate lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s rollback of the contraception mandate (California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington)
  • November 2017: four Democratic AGs joined California to ask for a nationwide injunction blocking the rollback of the contraception mandate (Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia)
  • November 2017: 19 Democratic AGs, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, filed an amicus brief in support of Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro’s lawsuit challenging the rollback of the contraception mandate
  • December 2017: 16 Democratic AGs, through the public comment process, submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services opposing the rollback of the contraception mandate
  • December 2017: VICTORY: A Federal Judge granted a preliminary nationwide injunction in the contraceptive care lawsuit led by Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro
  • December 2017: VICTORY: A Federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in the contraceptive care lawsuit led by California AG Xavier Becerra
  • May 2018: 16 Democratic AGs, led by Massachusetts AG Maura Healey, filed an amicus brief in opposition to the Trump administration’s rollback of the contraception coverage mandate
  • September 2018: 17 Democratic AGs, led by Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, filed an amicus brief to stop the Trump administration’s efforts to rollback contraceptive coverage.
  • December 2018: VICTORY: A Federal Judge sided with Democratic AGs that under the ACA women must have access to cost-free birth control
  • December 2018: Democratic AGs filed an amended lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s final religious and moral exemption rule limiting mandated contraceptive care
  • December 2018: 14 Democratic AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, filed a lawsuit to block the Trump administration’s rules limiting access to birth control
  • January 2019: VICTORY: A Federal Judge issued a preliminary injunction halting the Trump administration’s attempt to limit birth control access
  • January 2019: VICTORY: A Federal Judge issued a nationwide preliminary injunction protecting employer coverage of contraception
TITLE X Funding for Family Planning Programs: CASE PENDING In 2019, the Trump administration attempted to impose a “Gag Rule” that would cut funding for abortion-providers like Planned Parenthood and threaten healthcare services like cancer screenings, HIV/AIDs prevention, pap tests, and other critical procedures in states across the country. Democratic AGs sued—and won preliminary injunctions to block the rule. Timeline of Actions:
  • July 2018: 13 Democratic AGs, led by California AG Xavier Becerra, submitted a letter fighting against the Trump administration’s “Gag Rule”
  • March 2019: 21 Democratic AGs, led by Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum and New York AG Tish James, sued the Department of Health and Human Services regarding Title X “Gag Rule”
  • March 2019: California AG Xavier Becerra filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s Title X “Gag Rule”
  • March 2019: Washington State AG Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s Title X “Gag Rule”
  • April 2019: VICTORY: Federal Judges in California, Oregon, and Washington State grant preliminary injunctions protecting Title X funding and blocking Trump’s “Gag Rule”
  • May 2018: California AG Xavier Becerra wrote a letter to the Trump administration requesting a meeting over a rule that restricts women’s health care.
The “Conscience” Rule: CASE PENDING In May 2019, the Trump administration imposed a rule that allows healthcare providers, insurers, and employers to refuse to provide or pay for medical services like abortion that they say violate their religious and moral beliefs. Democratic AGs sued. Timeline of Actions:
  • May 2019: 20 Democratic AGs, led by New York AG Tish James sued the Department of Health and Human Services over the newly released “conscience rule”
  • May 2019: California AG Xavier Becerra and Washington AG Bob Ferguson filed separate lawsuits challenging the “conscious rule”
Other Democratic AGs Actions to Protect Reproductive Rights Whether it’s protecting the right to abortion or seeking reproductive justice in their respective states, Democratic Attorneys General know that an attack on reproductive rights anywhere is a threat to reproductive health everywhere. Timeline of Actions:
  • April 2017: 16 Democratic AGs filed an amicus brief opposing Ohio’s law to de-fund Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers in the case Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio v. Hughes
  • October 2017: 14 Democratic AGs filed an amicus brief to the DC Circuit in Garza v. Hargan in support of Jane Doe, a 17-year-old unaccompanied minor in federal custody who was seeking an abortion.
    • VICTORY: The D.C. Circuit then overruled the Trump administration and cleared the way for Jane to obtain her abortion.
  • December 2017: 12 Democratic AGs told the Trump administration that it has no authority to block two young immigrant women in federal custody from obtaining abortions
  • February 2018: 17 Democratic AGs filed an amicus brief support of women’s reproductive health care access, in a case in which the operators of “crisis pregnancy centers” – which counsel women against abortion – are fighting a California state law that requires clinics to inform clients about public programs that provide free or low-cost contraception, abortion, and other family-planning services
  • April 2018: 16 Democratic AGs filed an amicus brief in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Whole Woman’s Health v. Paxton challenging a Texas state law that would essentially ban the safest and most common method of second-trimester abortion
  • May 2018: Iowa AG Tom Miller decided against defending Iowa’s unconstitutional 6-week abortion ban
  • May 2018: DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum released statement on Iowa’s Unconstitutional 6-Week Abortion Ban
  • August 2018: 19 Democratic AGs filed an amicus brief  challenging a federal policy that prohibits unaccompanied immigrant minors in federal custody from accessing abortion services
  • April 2019: 20 Democratic AGs, led by Nevada AG Aaron Ford, filed an amicus brief opposing the unconstitutional abortion ban passed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
  • March 2019: 21 Democratic AGs, led by Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro, filed an amicus brief in defense of evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention program
  • May 2019: DAGA Co-Chair Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum releases statement on the “6-week abortion ban” in Georgia