Federal Court Blocks Implementation of Trump Administration Birth Control Rule in California

WASHINGTON December 21, 2017 – A federal court in California issued a preliminary injunction today blocking rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies, which sanction employers and universities to deny their employees and students insurance coverage for contraception due to religious or moral objections.

The ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California came in a case brought by California, together with Delaware, Maryland, New York, and Virginia. It comes shortly after a similar ruling in a case brought by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union and director of Center for Liberty at the ACLU, had this reaction:

“A second court has now enjoined the discriminatory Trump rules allowing employers to use their religious or moral objections to deny women contraceptive coverage to which they are entitled by law. The courts are validating what we have known to be true — that these rules are unlawful. They authorize employers to impose their religion on others, leaving women without coverage for basic preventive health care that is essential to their equality.

“Moreover, they represent a chilling return to the days when the government treated women’s sexuality, and thus contraception, as immoral, perpetuating harmful stereotypes that have long been used to discriminate against women. These rules have no place in the 21st century, and we applaud this second ruling confirming that they cannot be enforced.”