Appeals court blocks Trump birth control rules in five states

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday blocked Trump administration rules that would allow businesses to claim moral and religious exemptions to ObamaCare's contraception mandate. 

The ruling only applies to the five states that filed a joint lawsuit against the rules last year: California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia. 

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A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction on the rules by a district court. 

The states argued the administration made changes to the contraception mandate without the required notice and public comment period.

The Obama administration allowed exemptions to the rule for religious organizations, but opponents have long argued those didn't go far enough. 

The rules from the Trump administration would allow most businesses to claim moral or religious exemptions to covering birth control for their employees.

A nationwide injunction is still in effect following a ruling from a separate case, but it is under appeal in the 3rd Circuit. 

The Trump administration in November issued the final versions of the rules with minor changes.