U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Nationwide Injunction Blocks Trump Birth Control Rule

The federal district court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania just issued a nationwide injunction ruling that the Trump administration rule that would have rolled back the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act cannot be enforced.

In short, the Affordable Care Act required employers to provide birth control coverage, and the Trump administration's rule would have created a loophole for religious organizations to be exempted from this ACA requirement. That loophole would have been taking effect had it not been for this ruling, and a similar ruling out of Oakland, California.

Birth Control Coverage

As the district court noted, a short gap in health insurance coverage for birth control could have negative effects that are irreversible. The court explained that the nationwide injunction is necessary because over 70,000 women would lose coverage, and that the effect of the rule taking effect would burden states nationwide.

Curiously, the Department of Justice has defended the Trump administration's birth control rule, siding with the religious organizations over the individuals who work for the organizations. However, given the rulings in both federal district courts, it seems the DOJ may have an uphill battle if they expect this rule to actually be implemented.

Previously, when the matter was initially taken up in 2017, and an interim rule was set to take effect, a preliminary injunction issued preventing it. Luckily for the individuals that would be impacted by the rule, the federal courts have acted quickly.

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