Judge blocks birth con­trol cov­er­age rules in 13 states

The Mercury News - - News - By Sud­hin Thanawala

OAK­LAND >> A U.S. judge in Cal­i­for­nia on Sun­day blocked Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion rules that would al­low more em­ploy­ers to opt out of pro­vid­ing women with no-cost birth con­trol from tak­ing ef­fect in 13 states and Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Judge Hay­wood Gil­liam granted a re­quest for a pre­lim­i­nary in­junc­tion by Cal­i­for­nia, 12 other states and Wash­ing­ton, D.C. The plain­tiffs sought to pre­vent the rules from tak­ing ef­fect as sched­uled to­day while a law­suit against them moved for­ward.

But Gil­liam lim­ited the scope of the rul­ing to the plain­tiffs, re­ject­ing their re­quest that he block the rules na­tion­wide.

The changes would al­low more em­ploy­ers, in­clud­ing pub­licly traded com­pa­nies, to opt out of pro­vid­ing no-cost con­tra­cep­tive cov­er­age to women by claim­ing re­li­gious ob­jec­tions. Some pri­vate em­ploy­ers could also ob­ject on moral grounds.

Cal­i­for­nia and the other states ar­gue that women would be forced to turn to state-funded pro­grams for birth con­trol and ex­pe­ri­ence un­in­tended preg­nan­cies.

“The law couldn’t be more clear — em­ploy­ers have no busi­ness in­ter­fer­ing in women’s health­care de­ci­sions,” Cal­i­for­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Xavier Be­cerra said in a state­ment Sun­day.

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