TYLER, Texas – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Texas nurse practitioner filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Biden administration for violating regulatory laws when it deprived women of required health insurance coverage for fertility awareness-based methods of family planning, leaving coverage of only contraceptive and abortifacient drugs and devices.
Dr. Cami Jo Tice-Harouff, who is a licensed family nurse practitioner in Longview, Texas, with a doctorate in nursing practice, and is also licensed in several states, provides patients with instruction in several different evidence-based fertility awareness methods of family planning. Those methods provide family planning options by carefully tracking a woman’s individual fertility.
“Women shouldn’t have to fear losing their doctor and insurance coverage for fertility awareness instruction as a result of back-room government decisions,” said ADF Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake. “Countless women rely on Dr. Tice-Harouff’s expertise to help them raise families in a manner consistent with their medical needs. It is wrong and unlawful for the Biden administration to push its own, preferred method of family planning on all women.”
Dr. Tice-Harouff assists many of her patients by billing their insurance providers, and then donates the proceeds to a non-profit clinic that provides health care to the needy. The Affordable Care Act prevents insurance plans from imposing any cost-sharing requirements on women seeking “preventative care and screenings.” In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services included “instruction in fertility awareness-based methods” as part of this requirement.
However, in December 2021, HHS removed “fertility awareness-based methods” from its list with no notice-and-comment process nor any rationale, which are mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act. HHS allowed only one outside organization—the pro-abortion Women’s Preventive Services Initiative—to give input into the guidance, which is set to take effect at the end of December 2022.
“Women who practice fertility awareness-based methods make serious personal and financial decisions to do what’s best for their family and their conscience,” Blake continued. “Removing insurance coverage could devastate these families. The government should not be forcing this choice upon America’s women.”
ADF attorneys filed the lawsuit, Tice-Harouff v. Johnson, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in the Tyler Division.
- Pronunciation guide: Tice-Harouff (Hair-OFF')
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
# # #