Judge throws out Massachusetts lawsuit over Trump birth control rules
A federal judge in Boston Monday threw out a lawsuit by Massachusetts’ attorney general that attempted to block the Trump administration’s rules expanding exemptions from ObamaCare’s birth control mandate.
U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton said Massachusetts lacked standing to sue and noted that “the record is uniquely obscure” regarding whether employers in the state would take advantage of the exemptions.
In a statement, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said that she was disappointed in the decision but remained committed to ensuring “affordable and reliable reproductive health care for women.”
ObamaCare originally required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organizations. The Trump administration’s policy allows more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to claim religious or moral objections to contraception.
In November, Massachusetts’ Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law requiring employer-sponsored health plans to cover birth control without co-pays. Gorton said that law undercut Healy’s claim that the state would be injured by the rules and thus had standing to sue.
Judges in California and Pennsylvania last year blocked the new birth control rules. Federal prosecutors said last month that they plan to appeal the California judge’s decision.
The Justice Department had no immediate comment on Gorton’s ruling.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.