A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Monday blocked the Trump administration from enforcing new rules allowing employers to obtain exemptions from an Obamacare requirement that they provide health insurance that covers women’s birth control.
U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia issued a nationwide injunction preventing the rules from taking effect, a day after another judge issued a more limited ruling blocking their enforcement in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
The rules had been set take effect on Monday. The U.S. Department of Justice, which has defended the rules in court, did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it will likely appeal the decision.
The lawsuit was filed after Republican President Donald Trump’s administration in October 2017 unveiled interim rules that targeted the contraceptive mandate implemented as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.
The finalized rules would let businesses or nonprofits lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the law’s mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance with no copayment.
Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Grant McCool