Appeals court upholds injunction against contraception mandate exemption

A federal appeals court on Friday unanimously blocked Department of Health and Human Services rules that would have exempted employers who want to opt out of coverage for artificial contraception for moral or religious reasons.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia upheld a district court’s January decision to block the planned rules, which the Trump administration first announced in October 2017.

“The State’s financial injury outweighs any purported injury to religious exercise…A nationwide injunction is necessary to provide the States complete relief,” Circuit Judge Patty Schwartz wrote in the court’s majority opinion.

Judge Haywood Gilliam of the U.S. District Court for Northern California had issued a preliminary injunction January 13 that affects 13 states plus the District of Columbia in the case State of California v. HHS.

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