Judge Blocks Trump Contraceptive Rule Nationwide

After a California judge blocked it in 13 western states, a federal judge in Philadelphia on Monday put the full kibosh on the slated implementation of the Trump administration’s new contraceptive rule for Obamacare, which would allow businesses to opt out of the act’s birth control requirement based on “moral convictions.”

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), which mandates free birth control as part of any health insurance policy, already made provision for religious groups to opt out of the requirement, but the Trump rule would extend the opt-out privilege to those businesses that found contraception morally objectionable.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Bettlestone ruled that the regulation — slated to go into effect the same day — would deprive up to 127,000 women of their access to no-cost contraceptives, while at the same time shifting the financial burden to the states to fill in the void.

“The negative effects of even a short period of decreased access to no-cost contraceptive services are irreversible,” Beetlestone said.

In defending the rule, the¬†Department of Justice (DOJ) said in court documents that the new rule defended “a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors” and stopped them from conducting practices “that conflict with their beliefs.”

The case upon which the judge ruled was filed by the attorneys general of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The judges in both the California and Pennsylvania rulings were appointed by President Obama. Neither judge’s rule places a permanent injunction on the regulation, but stops it from going into effect while legal challenges are pursued.

NOTE: The details in this blog are provided for informational purposes only. All answers are general in nature and do not constitute legal advice. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The author specifically disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the reliance on or use of this blog.
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