OAKLAND, Calif. — Trump administration rules that allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control pose “potentially dire” financial and public health consequences for 13 states and Washington, D.C., a U.S. judge said in a decision blocking the rules from taking effect in those jurisdictions.
Judge Haywood Gilliam on Sunday granted a request for a preliminary injunction, but limited his order to California, New York and the other plaintiffs before him. They sought to prevent the rules from taking effect Monday while a lawsuit against them moved forward.
The states had shown that the rules would result in the loss of employer-covered birth control coverage, forcing thousands of women to turn for contraceptives to programs paid for by the state, Gilliam said.
The rules were also likely to increase the rate of unintended pregnancies, creating additional costs for the states, the judge said.
The changes would allow more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also object on moral grounds.