A federal court on Friday blocked Trump administration rules that made it easier for employers to deny insurance coverage of contraceptives for women.
Judge Wendy Beetlestone of the Federal District Court in Philadelphia issued a preliminary injunction, saying the rules contradicted the text of the Affordable Care Act by allowing many employers to opt out of providing contraceptive coverage if they had religious or moral objections.
In the lawsuit, filed by the State of Pennsylvania, the judge said the rules would cause irreparable harm because tens of thousands of women would lose contraceptive coverage.
The Affordable Care Act contains no statutory language allowing federal agencies to create such “sweeping exemptions” to the law’s requirements to cover preventive services, Judge Beetlestone declared.
The Trump administration rules reversed a policy of the Obama administration that generally required employers and insurers to provide women with coverage for contraceptives without co-payments, deductibles or other costs.
“A simple hypothetical illustrates the insidious effect of the moral exemption rule,” Judge Beetlestone wrote. “It would allow an employer with a sincerely held moral conviction that women do not have a place in the workplace to simply stop providing contraceptive coverage.”
Full story at The New York Times.