COLUMBUS, OHIO – Today, State Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) condemned Attorney General Mike DeWine for filing an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Conestoga v. Wood, a case involving a Pennsylvania company.
DeWine’s brief, which allows for employers at for-profit corporations to deny a female employee access to birth control under her own health insurance, is part of his nationwide campaign against women’s healthcare.
“It’s an embarrassment to Ohio families that our Attorney General believes that anyone other than a woman and her doctor should be in control of private medical decisions. I am astonished that the Attorney General can argue that an employer has more rights to dictate a patient’s medical choices than the patient,” Antonio said.
Since taking office in 2011, DeWine has led a national campaign to deny women the right to birth control under their employer-provided health insurance.
DeWine has been involved in at least five cases nationally, most of which do not even involve Ohio residents. He has filed briefs or been a plaintiff in cases in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, and Illinois.
“Mike DeWine should be using his office to focus on the critical issues facing Ohioans, not as a platform to push his dangerous and extreme personal agenda.”
State Rep. Antonio is the Chair of the Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus. She is also the Ranking Member of the House Health and Aging Committee and serves on the House Finance and Appropriations Committee. Rep. Antonio is serving her second term representing the 13th Ohio House District.
Mike DeWine endorsed Rick Santorum for President. In 2012, Mike DeWine switched his endorsement from Mitt Romney to Rick Santorum before the Ohio GOP primary. [Source: Columbus Dispatch (2/18/2012), “In a shift, DeWine backs Santorum.”]
DeWine attempted to inject his office in a contraception case in Nebraska. The week following his endorsement of Santorum, DeWine filed an amicus brief on behalf of seven Republican state Ohio Attorney Generals seeking to challenge the Affordable Care Act’s provisions mandating contraceptive coverage. [Source: Reuters (2/24/2012), “DeWine joins lawsuit over Obama birth-control rule.”]
The Nebraska lawsuit was dismissed by a federal court judge for the parties’ lack of standing. In July 2012, a federal judge dismissed the Nebraska lawsuit holding that the plaintiffs did not have legal standing to bring a lawsuit to challenge the contraception provisions of the Affordable Care Act. [Source: Lincoln Journal Star (7/17/2012) “Judge tosses out contraception lawsuit filed by Nebraska, six other states.”]
In September, the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected DeWine’s challenge to the same contraception provisions in a Michigan case. In Autocam v. Sebelius (6th Cir. Case No. 12-2673, an unanimous panel ruled that the plaintiffs, like the district court did in the Nebraska case, lacked standing. [Source: U.S. Sixth Circuit Opinion, Autocam v. Sebelius (9/17/2013), Case No. 12-2673. As found: http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/13a0278p-06.pdf.]
DeWine filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Conestago Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius challenging the contraception provision in a Pennsylvania case. Earlier this year, the Third Circuit held that a for-profit corporation’s challenge of the conception coverage provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act in Pennsylvania failed as for-profit corporations cannot engage in religious exercise. Yesterday, DeWine joined in an amicus brief challenging that ruling after filing an initial amicus with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. [Source: U.S. Third District Court Opinion, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation v. Sebelius (7/26/2013), Case No. 13-1144. As found: http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/131144p.pdf.]