The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage guarantee, also known as the federal birth control benefit, has been the subject of numerous lawsuits. One set of cases was brought by for-profit and nonprofit employers and schools that have objected to this policy on religious and moral grounds and have sought to deny coverage of contraceptive services and supplies to employees, students and dependents enrolled in the health insurance plans these institutions sponsor. A second set of cases was brought by states and other entities challenging the Trump administration’s rules that would expand religious and moral exemptions to providing the birth control benefit.

The Guttmacher Institute has submitted legal filings in several of these cases that present extensive evidence that contraceptive services and supplies yield enormous benefits for individuals and families, and that the contraceptive coverage guarantee is crucial to achieving those benefits. Many of Guttmacher’s filings include information on the state-specific public health and fiscal impacts of expanding exemptions to the coverage requirement.

 

Cases with Entities Seeking Religious and Moral Exemptions

DeOtte v. Azar:

Declaration filed with U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas (May 2019)

This declaration supported Nevada’s attempt to defend the contraceptive coverage guarantee against efforts by individuals and employers to secure religious exemptions.

 

Zubik v. Burwell:

Amicus brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court (February 2016)

Coauthored with George Washington University’s Sara Rosenbaum. This amicus brief supported the federal government in defending the contraceptive coverage guarantee against efforts by nonprofit institutions to secure        religious exemptions.

 

Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby and Consestoga Wood v. Sebelius:

Amicus brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court (January 2014)

Coauthored with George Washington University’s Sara Rosenbaum. This amicus brief supported the federal government in defending the contraceptive coverage guarantee against efforts by for-profit employers to secure religious exemptions.

 

Cases with States Challenging the Trump Administration’s Moral and Religious Exemption Rules

Little Sisters of the Poor v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of New Jersey and Trump v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and State of New Jersey:

Amicus brief filed with U.S. Supreme Court (April 2020)

This amicus brief supported Pennsylvania and New Jersey as their case opposing the Trump administration’s expanded exemptions came before the U.S. Supreme Court.

 

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump:

Declaration filed with U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (January 2019)

This declaration supported the district court case brought by Pennsylvania and New Jersey opposing the Trump administration’s expanded exemptions.

 

State of California v. Azar:

Declaration filed with U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California (December 2018)

This declaration supported the case brought by California and multiple other states opposing the Trump administration’s expanded exemptions.

 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

Amicus brief filed with U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (September 2018)

This amicus brief supported the case brought by Massachusetts opposing the Trump administration’s expanded exemptions.