Blue states try to halt Trump's changes to contraceptive mandate

Democratic states are seeking to block new Trump administration rules that would make it harder for some wom...

Posted: Jan 12, 2019 10:47 AM
Updated: Jan 12, 2019 10:47 AM

Democratic states are seeking to block new Trump administration rules that would make it harder for some women to get birth control at no cost.

Lawyers for California and Pennsylvania appeared in separate district courts this week to challenge the rules, which would allow more employers to get exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring them to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives with no co-pay.

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The rules are scheduled to take effect on January 14.

The first one would allow non-profit and for-profit employers, including publicly traded companies, to receive an exemption based on their religious beliefs. The second would let all but public companies obtain an exemption based on moral objections. Government employers cannot request exemptions.

The changes are part of the Trump administration's efforts ton roll back regulations that conflict with some Americans' religious beliefs. The alterations to the contraceptive mandate's exemptions were first unveiled in the fall of 2017, and final rules were issued in November.

Under the Obama administration, a fairly limited number of employers -- mainly churches and some other religious entities -- could get an exemption.

Some others, such as religious-based universities or hospitals, could seek accommodations so that they didn't have to provide coverage, but their workers could still get contraceptives paid for by the insurer or the employer plan's administrator.

Democratic-led states successfully challenged the Trump administration's interim rules in federal district court. Pennsylvania won a nationwide injunction in late 2017, blocking the effort. California, which led a coalition of blue states, also won its effort to halt the interim rules, though an appellate court recently limited its scope to the five states that brought the lawsuit.

The Keystone State, supported by a coalition of 21 state attorneys general, on Thursday asked a federal judge to stop the final rules from taking effect. California, joined by 12 other states and the District of Columbia, appeared before a federal judge on Friday, who said he would rule before Monday, according to the attorney general's office.

"Women need contraception for their health because contraception is medicine, pure and simple," said Josh Shapiro, Pennsylvania's attorney general. "Congress hasn't changed the law, and the President can't simply ignore it with an illegal rule."

The administration estimates that the final rules will impact no more than 127,000 women, but nearly 63 million women had insurance coverage that includes no-cost birth control in 2018, according to the National Women's Law Center.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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