Applauds Attorneys General and Women’s Health Advocates for also Filing Suit
LOS ANGELES – Planned Parenthood Los Angeles applauds California Attorney General Jerry Brown who joined with the attorneys general of Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, and Rhode Island in filing legal action challenging the administrative regulation finalized in December by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
These states have taken proactive steps in enacting legislation that protects patients’ access to vital health care services and information — for example, California law guarantees rape survivors be informed about and have access to emergency contraception in emergency rooms, protects consumers from being refused medication that has been lawfully prescribed and requires that contraceptives be included in pharmacy benefit plans provided through employer health care coverage. The HHS regulation poses a serious barrier to the states’ enforcement of their laws protecting patients.
“By allowing individual providers to impose their personal morality on patients, this rule erects barriers to unbiased quality, reproductive health care for all,” said Mary-Jane Waglé, CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. “By filing this law suit, Planned Parenthood is standing up for women’s right to quality reproductive health care without compromise.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the organization’s national office, and Planned Parenthood of Connecticut also filed a lawsuit yesterday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut asking the court to invalidate the administrative regulation.
This midnight regulation poses a serious threat to women’s health care by limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services.
The complaint charges that the final regulation goes far beyond the intent of Congress when it enacted the laws in question and is in conflict with other existing laws and regulations. In addition, in its rush to finalize the regulation, HHS failed to follow the appropriate regulatory steps, including failing to respond adequately to the thousands of comments that raised significant problems with the regulation.
In addition to the legal challenges brought by PPFA and the California Attorney General’s office, the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, represented by the ACLU, has filed a separate legal challenge to the rule.
January 16, 2009