Judge overturns Trump policy that could relieve employers of paying for birth control

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A Federal Court judge has blocked President Donald Trump’s birth control coverage policy in 13 states.  The policy was set to go into effect nationwide Monday, but that has now been put on hold.

If passed, the president’s birth control policy can make it possible for employers to deny their employees birth control. 

Alayna Gallagher, President of Keystone Progress, Erie Chapter, says it’s “just another way to try and control women.”

Many employers in California, 12 other states, and Washington DC will have to continue providing workers with no-cost birth control, at least for now. 

Gallagher continues, “it’s kind of a war on women if we’re honest, here. If males carried the burden for being responsible for birth control, you could get it at the gas station.”

Judge Haywood Gilliam on Sunday granted a request for a preliminary injunction but limited his order to California, New York, and other plaintiffs before him.  They sought to prevent the rules from taking effect Monday while a lawsuit against them moved forward. 

Joe Morris, Professor at Mercyhurst University, says, “the issue here is religious freedom and the meaning of religious freedom for many people in the united states see freedom as you should have a right to practice as you see fit.”

The judge determined that the rules were likely to increase the rate of unintended pregnancies creating additional costs for the states.  The DOJ said in court documents that the rules “protect a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs”.

The judge previously blocked an interim version of the rules.  That decision was upheld in December by an appeals court. 

The ruling blocks the policy from taking effect in California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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