Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s Contraception Exemption Rule in 13 States

On Sunday, a federal judge blocked rules from the Trump administration that allowed most businesses to opt out of paying for contraceptives for their employees on the grounds of a moral or religious objection.

Judge Haywood Gilliam granted the request for a preliminary injunction by California, Washington D.C, and 12 other states, but limited the scope of the ban to only those states. the The plaintiffs sought to prevent the rules from going into effect on Monday as a lawsuit against them moves forward.

California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) asked Gilliam for an injunction at the end of December that would block a state’s ability to have more exemptions from Obamacare’s  contraceptive mandate. Attorney generals in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Minnesota, Virginia, Vermont, Rhode Island, Washington state and the District of Columbia joined Becerra in a request for an injunction.

“The law couldn’t be more clear — employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement on Sunday. “Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump Administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.”

“It’s 2019, yet the Trump Administration is still trying to roll back women’s rights,” Becerra added. “Our coalition will continue to fight to ensure women have access to the reproductive healthcare they are guaranteed under the law.”

The Trump administration issued draft rules that took effect immediately last year, but have been blocked by several courts.

Judge Gilliam said in a statement on Friday that a “substantial number” of women would lose birth control coverage under the rules of the Trump administration.

Louise Melling, the deputy legal director of the ACLU, claims the rules are “legal discrimination” under the veil of religion and morality, saying, “It is a good day when a court stops this administration from sanctioning discrimination under the guise of religion or morality.”

The Trump administration’s rules authorized employers and universities to strip women of birth control coverage — a benefit guaranteed to them by law, and meant to advance their health and equality. We applaud the order to enjoin the enforcement of these discriminatory rules.”

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