Alabama has become the latest state to challenge the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act as Attorney General Luther Strange filed a motion requesting the state be allowed to join the federal lawsuit already in progress.
The lawsuit was first initiated in February by the Global Catholic Network, EWTN, based in Alabama.
It’s just the latest in a string of attacks by the state on women’s access to safe, affordable reproductive health care. All in all Republican legislators have pushed no less than 16 bills attacking women’s rights since taking control of the statehouse in November 2010. Among the bills that have popped up are personhood measures and a mandatory ultrasound bill.
But citizens of the state would rather their legislators focus on job creation and economic revitalization, not attacking women’s rights and are fighting back. The result has been the defeat of some key anti-woman initiatives.
The Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act March 26-28 and while the birth control mandate is not directly before the court now, a ruling on the constitutionality of health care reform could impact the lawsuit challenging the birth control mandate. But assuming health care reform is upheld, then we can expect to see more and more legal challenges from the right as they continue to put the interests of the health insurance industry above the citizens of their own states.
Photo from brains the head via flickr.