On Friday, a Pennsylvania federal judge put a temporary block on the Trump administration’s efforts to rollback on the Obama-era contraception order within the Affordable Care Act. The 2010 mandate ensured that employees received birth control coverage under their healthcare plans at no cost. The rules also allowed religious nonprofits and some for-profit companies the ability of requesting to opt out of lending coverage for contraception use without financial penalties.
Under the Trump administration’s rollback 55 million women had their access to birth control threatened.
The preliminary injunction, which was issued on Friday, will apply to states across the country.
The decision came after Pennsylvanian attorney general, Josh Shapiro, introduced a lawsuit against the Trump administration that asserted the new regulations would compromise women’s health. On Friday, U.S District Judge Wendy Beetlesone released the preliminary injunction with a statement that outlined how the new Trump regulation could cause “harm to the health, safety, and wellness of the Commonwealth’s female residents.”
The judge’s decision concluded that the birth control block would increase the government’s money problems.
Beetlestone asserted in her statement various testimonies from doctors that influenced her understanding of how the rollback would ultimately impose added costs on Pennsylvania’s state sponsored health programs. According to Beetlestone’s statement, the physicians’ testimonies brought her to the conclusion that women who could not access free birth control would either end up seeking assistance from state or local programs, or force women into abstaining from contraception use altogether. Beetlestone’s decision outlined that the first would immediately cost the state money, while the latter increased the likelihood of unintended pregnancies which would in the long run also raise state funding requirements.
Women’s rights advocates have been reveling in the news on Twitter.
Which federal judge just blocked Trump's repeal of the Obama birth control mandate?
The Honorable Wendy Beetlestone, appointed by President Obama, graduate of Liverpool University and Penn Law, and born in…. Ibandan, Nigeria.
That, my friends, is poetic justice. ??? pic.twitter.com/K2AqQ54ekG
— Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) December 15, 2017
Progressive women’s rights activists are thrilled over the notion that Judge Beetlestone could be exactly the right kind of irritant to Donald Trump’s health care plan. The Pennsylvania judge is a Nigerian-born immigrant from the UK and a graduate from University of Pennsylvania. She was appointed to her position by President Obama.
Literally her charms just keep adding up.
Some have even thanked the judge for providing them with access to proper health benefits.
Thank you, Judge Wendy Beetlestone, from a person who needs to be on birth control for medical reasons. https://t.co/6unhD9iFPY
— lauren fitz (@mslaurenmfitz17) December 15, 2017
Judge Beetlestone’s court order has sparked the beginning of what will likely be a drawn out litigation process. In her statement, Judge Beetlestone also concluded that her order means it’s business as usual as far as free birth control access to employees in the U.S. goes. Her injunction will remain in place throughout the trials in Pennsylvania that argue for and against the Trump rollbacks.
Many advocates on Twitter are also PUMPED to see their rights are, for now, safe.
Thank god, a rational woman!!!!
— s gargus (@shgargamelly) December 15, 2017
All in all, women’s rights advocates are calling the judge’s ruling a huge victory for women and their reproductive rights. Dawn Laguens, Executive Vice President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, celebrated the decision in a statement.
“We applaud Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro for protecting access to birth control. Trump’s harmful attack on birth control shows a fundamental disdain for women’s health and lives by putting the health of 62.4 million women at risk,” she said. “There’s no doubt about it: Improving birth control access has led to historic lows in pregnancy among teenagers, unintended pregnancy, and the abortion rate. We cannot afford to roll back the progress we’ve seen under the Affordable Care Act.”