A federal judge in Texas on Saturday issued a court order barring enforcement of an Obama administration policy seeking to extend anti-discrimination protections under the Affordable Care Act to transgender health and abortion-related services.
The decision sides with Texas, seven other states and three Christian-affiliated healthcare groups challenging a rule that, according to the judge, defines sex bias to include “discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy.”
In granting an injunction one day before the new policy was to take effect, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor held that it violates the Administrative Procedure Act, a federal law governing rule-making practices.
The same judge issued a similar court order in August blocking a separate Obama administration policy that would have required public schools, over the objections of 13 states, to allow transgender students to use restrooms of their choice.
It was not immediately clear whether the Obama administration, which has just 20 days left in office, would seek to appeal the latest injunction.