AP, January 14, 2019
Marc Levy

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A federal judge on Monday put a nationwide hold on Trump administration rules that allow more employers to opt out of providing women with no-cost birth control.

U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Philadelphia agreed with a lawsuit originally filed by Pennsylvania, citing the potential harm to states should the rules be enforced.

Numerous citizens could lose contraceptive coverage, Beetlestone wrote, resulting in the increased use of state-funded contraceptive services, as well as increased costs to state services from unintended pregnancies.

The rules, scheduled to take effect Monday, would change a mandate under 2010′s Affordable Care Act by allowing more employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing no-cost contraceptive coverage to women by claiming religious objections. Some private employers could also now object on moral grounds. [...]

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