Judge’s Ruling Could Force Christian Groups to Fund Abortions in Their Healthcare Plans

With the stroke of a pen, a federal district court judge has forced a group of Catholic nuns and possibly other Christian groups to pay for drugs that could cause abortions in their employee health plans.

On Sunday, Judge Haywood Gilliam blocked the Trump administration from implementing new rules that provide wider religious exemptions to groups like the Little Sisters of the Poor. The rules, which were to go in effect on Monday, have been blocked in 13 states and Washington, DC.

The Trump administration had loosened the rules and added “moral convictions” as a basis to opt out of providing birth control services.

The Department of Justice said in court documents the rules “protect a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs,” according to the AP.

“No American should be forced to violate his or her own conscience in order to abide by the laws and regulations governing our health care system,” Caitlin Oakley, spokeswoman for Health and Human Services, said in a statement to the news website Politico Sunday night. “The final rules affirm the Trump administration’s commitment to upholding the freedoms afforded all Americans under our Constitution.”

California and Pennsylvania filed lawsuits shortly after the new mandate was issued to stop the religious exemption.

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