Trump Birth Control Coverage Rules Blocked Nationwide


'Today's court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump administration to trample on women's access to basic reproductive care, Becerra said on Sunday.

Health and Human Services Department spokeswoman Caitlin Oakley says in a statement that "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".

The back-to-back court rulings represent the second time the same judges have issued preliminary injunctions, halting Trump administration rules while lawsuits against the revised policies play out. That ruling came less than 24 hours after a California district court judge issued a more limited stay in MA, 12 other states, and the District of Columbia, while challenges are being argued.

President Trump's final rules regarding contraceptive access would drastically change access to contraception by expanding the prior religious exemption to the contraceptive coverage requirement to allow any employer or health insurer with religious objections to opt out.

The rules were to come into effect nationwide from Monday.

Ms Beetlestone cited the costs the states would shoulder to provide contraceptive coverage to women themselves if the rules took effect.

"My office just won big", tweeted Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

The judge granted a request by 13 states, as well as the District of Columbia, that asked for a temporary block on the Trump's administrations plans to put new rules in place that would make it much easier for employers to deny women health insurance coverage for birth control.

The preliminary injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam applies to 13 states, plus D.C.

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Beetlestone said the states would suffer harm if the rule takes effect because they would have to increase expenditures for state-funded programs that provide contraceptive services under the new rule.

The dispute centers on the issue of "religious liberty" - specifically, the extent to which the government should carve out exceptions for churches, religious groups, and even non-religious employers that object to birth control coverage based on their beliefs.

In October 2017 the Trump administration said it would broaden the existing exemptions and added "moral conviction" as a basis for opting out of providing birth control.

"The law couldn't be clearer - employers have no business interfering in women's healthcare decisions", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

The mandate requiring birth control coverage had been a key feature of so-called Obamacare - President Obama's efforts to overhaul the USA healthcare system.

"Affordable, accessible birth control is why the USA has reached the lowest unintended pregnancy rate in 30 years", Wen said in a statement. After Gilliam blocked the initial rules, the Trump administration appealed. Obama officials included exemptions for religious organisations.

The judge previously blocked an interim version of the rules - a decision that was upheld in December by an appeals court.

The administration subsequently issued similar, final rules that supplanted the interim ones.