Tice-Harouff v. Johnson
Description: Dr. Cami Jo Tice-Harouff, a Texas nurse practitioner, is 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.
Federal court halts Biden admin, allows fertility awareness family planning coverage
TYLER, Texas – A federal court issued an order late Friday that blocks the Biden administration’s procedurally flawed attempt to eliminate health insurance coverage for fertility awareness-based methods of family planning from requirements that cover at least 58 million women. The court’s ruling means that fertility awareness-based family planning methods will continue to be covered by health insurance plans nationwide including for Texas nurse practitioner Dr. Cami Jo Tice-Harouff’s patients while her lawsuit proceeds.
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Tice-Harouff in the suit against administration officials. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made the rule change in December 2021 without responding to any public objections or giving any explanation for the change.
“Countless women rely on the expertise of medical professionals like Dr. Tice-Harouff to help them raise families in a manner consistent with their needs,” said ADF Senior Counsel Julie Marie Blake. “We’re pleased the court allowed insurance coverage to continue for the many women who choose fertility-awareness family planning and stopped the Biden administration from imposing its own, preferred contraceptive methods on all women without even allowing the public to weigh in on that decision.”
“Dr. Tice-Harouff’s patients, however, will suffer irreparable harm when they lose the cost-free coverage for [fertility awareness-based methods] counseling provided by the current Guidelines. Many will undoubtedly forego this care altogether due to cost—or at least reduce the number or extent of counseling sessions,” the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division, wrote in its opinion in Tice-Harouff v. Johnson. “Defendants likely violated the law in eliminating cost-free coverage for FABM counseling.”
Tice-Harouff, who is a licensed nurse practitioner in Tyler with a doctorate in nursing practice, is also licensed in several other states and provides patients with instruction in several different evidence-based fertility awareness methods of family planning. She 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” as defined by a division of HHS.
In 2016, HHS included “instruction in fertility awareness-based methods” as part of this requirement. However, in December 2021, HHS removed that language from its list without using the notice-and-comment process or giving any rationale, both of which are mandated by the Administrative Procedure Act. HHS allowed only one, hand-picked outside organization to give input into the guidance.
- Pronunciation guide: Tice-Harouff (TIE’-ss 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.
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Julie Marie Blake serves as senior counsel for regulatory litigation at Alliance Defending Freedom. Over the last decade, she has been on the front lines of high-profile, precedent-setting cases challenging federal overreach in courts across the country. Blake served as deputy solicitor general for the state of Missouri from 2017 to 2020 and as assistant solicitor general for the state of West Virginia from 2013 to 2017. In these roles, she argued 26 federal and state appeals, including before the en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Before entering government service in 2013, Blake was a litigation associate at Baker Botts L.L.P., where she served as volunteer amicus counsel in several ADF cases, including Town of Greece v. Galloway. Following law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge Paul J. Kelly, Jr. on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. She received her J.D. magna cum laude from Notre Dame Law School in 2009. She received her B.A. in Politics and Theology & Religious Studies phi beta kappa from the Catholic University of America in 2006. She is a 2007 Blackstone Fellow. Blake is admitted to practice in multiple states, the Supreme Court, and in many federal district and appellate courts.
Matt Bowman serves as senior counsel and regulatory practice team leader for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he focuses on the impact of administrative law on religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and family. From 2017 to 2020, Bowman was a senior executive service appointee in the Trump administration, serving the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as Deputy General Counsel, and then in the Office for Civil Rights. Prior to joining HHS, Bowman was an accomplished litigator at ADF for over ten years. Before joining ADF in 2006, Bowman served as a law clerk for Judges Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and Michael A. Chagares, at the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and for Judge John M. Roll at the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. Bowman earned his J.D. summa cum laude and was first in his class at Ave Maria School of Law in 2003. He is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and Michigan and is admitted to practice at the U.S. Supreme Court and multiple federal appellate and district courts.