Obama rule prompts dropping of lawsuit

Keith Loria Mar. 7, 2011, 1:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Friday that, along with attorneys generals from seven other states, he is dropping a federal lawsuit concerning women's access to reproductive health services.

A lawsuit by Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Illinois, California, Oregon and New York was filed in January 2009, challenging regulations that were pushed through in the final weeks of the Bush administration.

The suit looked to block the enforcement of the "midnight" regulation because it allegedly jeopardized women's access to vital medical services, including emergency contraception.

The regulation also allegedly threatened Connecticut's eligibility for billions of dollars in federal funding if health care providers were required to give women information about and access to reproductive health services.

Recent rules enacted by the Obama administration has rendered the suit moot, as it rescinded what the states considered objectionable parts of the original regulation.

"The Obama administration has accomplished by regulation, what we sought to do in the court-protect access to essential health care services and federal funding without undermining the rights of health-care providers on conscience issues," Jepsen said.

Under Connecticut law, health care providers are allowed to decline to participate in healthcare services they find objectionable on religious or moral grounds.

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