Monday, January 14, 2019

Expanded Religious and Moral Exemptions From Contraceptive Mandate Enjoined In Part of the Country

In State of California v. Health and Human Services, (ND CA, Jan. 13, 2019), a California federal district court granted a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the the Trump Administration's broadened religious and moral exemptions from the ACA's contraceptive coverage mandate. The court enjoined enforcement of the Final Rules that were scheduled to take effect today, but only in  the 13 states and the District of Columbia that are plaintiffs in the case.  The court concluded that the plaintiffs are likely to succeed on their claim that the exemptions are inconsistent with the Women's Health Amendment, and that the religious exemption is likely not required by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The court agreed with decisions in nine Courts of Appeal that the Obama Administration accommodation for religious objectors does not impose a substantial burden on the free exercise of religion. Politico reports on the decision.