Appeals Court Blocks Trump Administration Birth Control Rules

Trump administration rule allowing workers to be denied insurance coverage for birth control by their employers has been blocked by a federal court, The Hill reported.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with Democratic attorneys general of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and uphold a decision by lower court, and to block rules imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

According to the Wall Street Journal, the HHS is expected to appeal the decision in the Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) hailed the ruling on Friday as a legal win for access to birth control across the country.

Louise Melling, the deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), applauded the court for its decision, calling the rules “discriminatory.”

“Yet another court has stopped this administration from sanctioning discrimination under the guise of religion or morality,” Melling wrote in a statement. “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.”

The Trump administration’s rules, which were rolled out in 2017, aimed to exempt employers from an Obama-era mandate that required them to offer contraceptive health care coverage to employees with no co-pay.

Various religious groups, charitable organizations and other opponents of abortion rights had taken issue with the ObamaCare mandate.

Department of Justice spokeswoman Kelly Laco decried the ruling Friday, telling Reuters that “religious organizations should not be forced to violate their mission and deeply-held beliefs.”

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