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Courts Stop Trump, This Time Over Contraceptives

January 14, 2019

Good news this afternoon for health care and people who use contraceptives.

A second ruling on ACA birth-control coverage mandate pauses an effort by Donald Trump to roll it back.  As such this means the requirement is allowed to continue nationwide.

A Pennsylvania district court judge blocked a rule nationwide that would have allowed employers with religious or moral objections to opt out of the health law’s no-cost coverage requirement. That and a more limited injunction Sunday by a California judge, who blocked the rule in 13 states and the District of Columbia, came just as it was to take effect. Both judges agreed to pause the rule while legal challenges are argued.

The dispute centers on the issue of “religious liberty” — specifically, the extent to which the government should carve out exceptions for churches, religious group and even non-religious employers that object to birth control coverage based on their beliefs. The Obama administration had narrow exceptions and a system of “accommodations” – a work-around to religious objections – in which a third-party insurer would cover birth control even if the employer did not.

But Trump widened the circumstances under which employers could claim exemptions in an effort to accommodate social conservatives.

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.

Checks and balances keeping nation safe from the absurdity of Trump and his three-thumb crowd.

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