Second judge halts Trump rollback of ObamaCare birth control rule
A federal judge in California has temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s recent rules allowing moral and religious exceptions to ObamaCare’s birth control requirement, the second time this week a court has ruled against the administration.
Judge Haywood Gilliam Jr. granted the injunction Thursday in the District Court for the Northern District of California. The ruling comes on the heels of a similar injunction made by a federal judge in Pennsylvania last Friday.
ObamaCare requires that most companies cover birth control as preventive care for women at no additional cost.
The Trump administration rolled back the requirement earlier this year, arguing that it infringed on the religious and moral rights of some businesses.
Under the federal rules that took effect in October, any for-profit or nonprofit employer or insurer can stop following the birth-control mandate on moral and religious grounds.
The California ruling focused mainly on the fact that the administration issued interim final rules without a chance for the public to submit comments.
According to the injunction, “the plaintiffs face potentially dire public health and fiscal consequences as a result of a process as to which they had no input.”
The judge ruled that for many women, the administration’s contraception rule would “transform contraceptive coverage from a legal entitlement to an essentially gratuitous benefit wholly subject to their employer’s discretion.”
The lawsuit was filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D).
“The law couldn’t be more clear: a woman, not her boss and certainly not a politician, should decide what’s best for her own healthcare,” Becerra said in a statement. “This court ruling serves as yet another reminder to the Trump Administration: the rule of law applies to everyone, no matter who you are or how high your rank.”