Trump administration issues rules letting some employers deny contraceptive coverage

The Trump administration on Wednesday issued federal rules that allow some employers to deny insurance coverage of birth control on religious or moral grounds. The draft rules drew strong protests from civil liberties and women’s rights advocates, along with Democrats in Congress and in state attorneys general offices.

The Trump administration on Wednesday issued federal rules that allow some employers to deny insurance coverage of birth control on religious or moral grounds. The draft rules drew strong protests from civil liberties and women’s rights advocates, along with Democrats in Congress and in state attorneys general offices. Two lawsuits by attorneys general prompted federal judges in California and Pennsylvania to grant nationwide injunctions against the proposals, while the administration has prevailed in another case. They now are all before appellate courts. The administration issued its final versions of the rules, to take effect in slightly more than 2 months, while the legal disputes are playing out. In a statement accompanying the rules' final version, HHS officials said the Affordable Care Act does not contain a contraception requirement and that the law does "not require the government to violate religious or moral objections to providing or purchasing such coverage." One rule is for religious objections and the other for nonreligious moral convictions. In their final form, they do not allow publicly traded companies or governments to claim such exemptions.