Judge blocks Trump mandate limiting accessible contraception

Alyssa Rege - Print  | 

A Pennsylvania district court judge on Jan. 14 issued an injunction against the Trump administration's regulation allowing employers to opt out of providing contraception coverage at no cost under religious or moral objections, according to NBC News.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone said in her ruling that "the negative effects of even a short period of decreased access to no-cost contraceptive services are irreversible," the report states.

The rules, which were issued by HHS, were scheduled to go into effect in 13 states and the District of Columbia Jan. 14 and would have allowed businesses and nonprofits to refrain from providing contraceptive coverage at no cost if they had religious or moral objections to contraception.

Under the ACA, employers are required to provide health insurance that covers women's birth control with no copayment.

Ms. Beetlestone issued a preliminary injunction against the interim rules in December 2017. Lawsuits were filed in several states after the Trump administration unveiled interim rules in October 2017 targeting the ACA mandate. However, the Trump administration later replaced the interim rules with final rules.

The U.S. Department of Justice, which has defended the rules, will likely appeal Ms. Beetlestone's ruling, the report states.

"Religious organizations should not be forced to violate their mission and deeply-held beliefs," the Justice Department said in a statement to NBC News.

Ms. Beetlestone's ruling came one day after a district judge in Oakland, Calif., issued a preliminary injunction against the rules Jan. 13. However, the second judge's ruling was limited to the specific states pursuing the lawsuit before him.

To access the full report, click here.

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