Federal Judge Halts Trump’s Religious Exemption for Birth Control Mandate

On Friday, a federal judge in Pennsylvania temporarily blocked the federal government from exempting employers from providing free birth control under the Affordable Care Act.

With the preliminary injunction, according to The Washington Examiner, employers with religious or moral objections cannot legally avoid the ACA’s mandate, something that sparked an uproar among conservatives and prompted multiple Supreme Court cases.

Pennsylvania, along with other states, sued the President Donald Trump’s administration, which argued the mandate hindered religious and moral rights. According to The Hill, Pennsylvania’s attorney general joined liberal critics in claiming the exemption undermined women’s health.

Judge Wendy Beetlestone appeared to agree, ruling that Pennsylvania would likely “suffer serious and irreparable harm in the absence of a preliminary injunction.”

When the Health and Human Services Department promulgated its exemption, it said the vast majority — 99.9 percent — of women would keep their coverage. It came after Trump signed an executive order that promised to “protect and vigorously promote religious liberty.”

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