Federal Judge Blocks Trump Administration’s Expansion of Religious Exemption to Obama-Era Birth Control Mandate

The Trump administration’s expansion of the religious exemption in Obama-era birth control mandate in health insurance plans will not be implemented Monday in 13 states and the District of Columbia as was planned, a federal judge ruled Sunday.

In his decision, Judge Haywood Gilliam of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, blocked via an injunction the implementation of the new Trump rules on contraception coverage, which allowed employers to opt out of providing birth control as part of their health insurance plans if doing so violated their religious or moral convictions, according to the Washington Examiner.

The injunction against the new rules came about as a result of a lawsuit from 13 Democrat attorneys general and only extends to the states that filed the suit, although the plaintiffs did ask that it apply nationwide.

The Trump administration criticized the ruling.

“No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our health care system,” Caitlin Oakley, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Sunday.

“The final rules affirm the Trump Administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”

Opponents of the Trump rules celebrated the ruling, calling it a victory for women’s rights.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Brandon Showalter