The new birth control rules come into effect in a majority of states as a result of a limited decision of the judges •


WASHINGTON – Two Trump's administrative rules to allow employers and universities to stop providing birth control insurance were blocked by a federal court in California in 13 states and in the District of Columbia Sunday night. This is the second time that this has happened.

The Affordable Care Act requires the majority of employers and universities to provide contraception insurance as a preventative health service. Trump's administrative rules – which will come into effect Monday in 37 other countries – allow entities providing insurance coverage to no longer provide contraceptive coverage for "religious" or "moral" reasons. The policy will likely have an impact on many women seeking free or low-cost birth control in these states.

These new rules, that the Department of Health and Social Services ad the day after the mid-term elections of 2018, are refitted versions of two other rules that the administration has released in October 2017. The rules of October were quickly brought to justice by several states and then blocked. The second version was intended to make changes that would be accepted by the courts.

More than a dozen states that have sued the administration for violating the rule argued that the changes to the rules were not significant enough to circumvent the injunctions that the courts had imposed on the previous rules. They also resurrected their previous arguments, claiming that the rules violated the Affordable Care Act, that it would cost the women of their state considerable sums and that this would have a considerable impact on their access to birth control.

Sunday, Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr. of the United States District Court in Oakland wrote that the new rules "Are almost identical to" the last set, and therefore still in violation of the Affordable Care Act. Gilliam was one of the judges to block the last set of rules.

The Trump administration appealed Gilliam's previous ruling and in December the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals upheld Gilliam's injunction but limited its scope. For this reason, Gilliam chose to apply Sunday's injunction to states that have taken legal action rather than the entire country.

Gilliam wrote on Sunday that he "fully recognizes that limiting the scope of this injunction to complaining states means that women in other states risk losing access to free contraceptives when the final rules come into effect." force ".

Just before the new year, the five states that opposed the 2017 rules – New York, California, Maryland, Virginia and Delaware – filed a second complaint about the new version. This new complaint has been joined by Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Vermont, Washington State, Rhode Island and Washington, DC.

Although most of the new rules remain the same as the 2017 version, "at least three changes have been made". [that] Bear mentioning, "wrote Gilliam in his order. Two of the changes show a greater impact on women seeking contraceptive coverage than previous rules. The first is that the new rules estimate that "no more than 126,400 women of childbearing age will be affected," which is an increase from the estimated 120,000 rules of 2017. The new rules also brought in $ 67.3 million a year in estimating the cost of exemptions for women seeking contraception nationally (in previous rules, the estimate was to $ 18.5 million for the only religious exemption).

The third change is that the new rules emphasize that those affected by the change could apply for free or low-cost birth control at clinics that receive government funding for Title X in family planning. Another Trump administrative rule that would limit funding to organizations that do not provide or recommend abortions is also expected to come into effect soon.

Just hours after Sunday night's injunction, Mark Rienzi, a lawyer for the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Catholic religious institute and nuns charity, appealed Gilliam's decision, saying the injunction gave the go-ahead. Democrats to "threaten the rights of women religious. "

"The decision yesterday will allow politicians to threaten the rights of religious women like the Little Sisters of the Poor," Rienzi told BuzzFeed News in an email. "Now, the Little Sisters have no choice but to continue fighting to avoid this useless struggle to protect their right to care for the poor. We are confident that this decision will be canceled. "

Louise Melling, Associate Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, who has been involved in the business surrounding these rules since 2017, celebrated the decision made in the group's official statement, although this rule will still be in effect in the majority of cases. States. .

"It's a good day when a court prevents the administration from sanctioning discrimination under the guise of religion or morality," reads the statement. "We applaud the order to prevent the application of these discriminatory rules."