A judge in California on Sunday overturned a set of Trump administration rules that would allow businesses to opt out of providing coverage to their employees for contraception if they had religious or moral objections.
Judge Haywood Gilliam granted a request by 14 Democratic attorneys general for a preliminary injunction on the rules that were set to go into effect on Monday.
Despite California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s request for a nationwide ruling, the judge limited his order to the states that had contested the rules.
“The law couldn’t be more clear – employers have no business interfering in women’s healthcare decisions,” Becerra said in a statement on Sunday, reported The Hill. “Today’s court ruling stops another attempt by the Trump administration to trample on women’s access to basic reproductive care.”
The Affordable Care Act, 2010, popularly known as Obamacare, required US employers to cover the birth control costs of their employees. Only religious houses were exempted. However, in October 2017, the Trump administration sought to expand the rules to include moral convictions as a basis for denying coverage.
Apart from California and Washington DC, the states where Sunday’s judgement applies are New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Minnesota, Maryland, Hawaii, North Carolina, Virginia, Rhode Island and Vermont. In all the other states, the exemption on contraception coverage will go into effect on Monday.