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Obama-appointed judge blocks Trump’s rule ending HHS contraceptive mandate

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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 15, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Obama-appointed U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone has blocked a Trump order from October that was to end the federal requirement that employers violate their consciences to participate in the provision of employees’ contraceptives and abortifacient drugs.

Judge Beetlestone ruled in the lawsuit filed by the state of Pennsylvania that she would not permit such “sweeping exemptions” to the Affordable Care Act and could not envision an exemption that “intrudes more into the lives of women.”

The Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) began the mandate, often called the HHS contraceptive mandate. The Little Sisters of the Poor, pro-life nuns who care for the elderly, along with Hobby Lobby and other religious entities refused to comply despite facing massive fines. 

President Donald Trump promised to end the coercive mandate during his campaign.

“No American should be forced to choose between the dictates of the federal government and the tenets of their faith,” Trump said when he signed the order in the White House Rose Garden. He called the Little Sisters of the Poor up to the stage with him.

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