>> A federal judge in California has thrown a wrench into a plan by the Trump administration to allow employers to refuse women's birth control coverage. US District Judge Haywood Gilliam on Sunday partially blocked the set of rules allowing businesses and non-profits to opt out of contraceptive coverage on moral or religious grounds.
The rules are set go into effect Monday, but 13 states plus Washington DC have asked for a nationwide injunction to keep them from taking effect while they press a legal challenge in court. Judge Gilliam ordered a injunction but limited it to those states challenging the rules. He hasn't reached a final decision in the case but he said the rules likely violated federal law.
He also said loosening contraceptive rules would end up costing states, which would be on the hook for additional birth control coverage and health care for unintended pregnancies. Under the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare, only religious houses of worship got exemptions. The Trump administration rules brought in that and added, quote, moral conviction is a basis for opting out of birth control coverage, a move supported by some Christian activists and Republicans in Congress.
California's Attorney General, who's leading the challenge, praised Sunday's ruling saying, quote, stops another attempt by the Trump administration to trample on women's access to basic reproductive care.