Federal judge blocks contraceptive mandate exemption
by Leigh Jones
Posted 12/15/17, 04:44 pm
A federal judge on Friday temporarily blocked a Trump administration rule giving more employers an exemption to Obamacare’s contraception and abortifacient mandate. The rule, issued in October, allowed more employers to claim a religious objection to paying for the drugs. California, Washington, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia all sued to block the rule from taking effect. U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia issued the first injunction against it. As part of the regulations flowing from Obamacare, the Obama administration demanded all employers cover contraceptives and abortifacients under their healthcare plans. The government refused to offer an exemption to the rule, except to churches. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that closely held, for-profit businesses whose owners objected to the drugs could claim an exemption, but religious nonprofit organizations continued to fight the rule. Religious liberty advocates hailed the Trump administration rule change as a victory for business owners who believe providing contraceptive and abortifacient drugs violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
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Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.