Federal judge rejects challenge to Trump’s new rules on birth control

The US District Court for District of Massachusetts  on Monday rejecteda challenge to the Trump administration’s new regulations on birth control that permit employers or health insurers with religious or moral objections to opt out of providing women coverage for contraceptives in their health insurance plans.

The suit, seeking a permanent injunction, was filed in October by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey , which alleged that the new regulations are unconstitutional and represents “a direct attack on women’s health and the right to access affordable and reliable contraception.” The defendants in the case included the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury  and the Treasury and Labor  Secretaries.

The complaint specifically alleged that the regulations 1) violate § 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) having not gone through the appropriate notice and comment process during their drafting 2) are not in accordance with law and exceed the defendants authority in violation of APA § 706; and 3) violate a) the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment [GPO backgrounder, PDF] and b) the equal protection guarantee of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution.

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