A federal judge in Philadelphia has ordered the Trump administration not to enforce new rules that could significantly reduce women’s access to free birth control.
Judge Wendy Beetlestone issued the injunction, temporarily stopping the government from enforcing the policy change to former president Barack Obama’s healthcare law.
The law required most companies to cover birth control at no additional cost, though it included exemptions for religious organisations.
The new policy would allow more categories of employers, including publicly traded companies, to opt out of providing free contraception to women by claiming religious or moral objections.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat, said that Donald Trump broke the law to undermine women’s health and that the ruling will protect women.
Mr Shapiro said.
Attorneys for the Trump administration had argued in court documents that the rules are about “protecting a narrow class of sincere religious and moral objectors from being forced to facilitate practices that conflict with their beliefs”.
The US Department of Health and Human Services issued the new policy in October. It marked another step in the Trump administration’s rollback of the Affordable Care Act, and supporters say it promotes religious freedom.
California, Washington and Massachusetts have also sued the Trump administration over the rules. Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia joined California in its effort.