Federal appeals court blocks Trump administration birth control exemptions

A woman holds prescription contraceptives June 13, 2001 in Seattle, Washington (Photo by Tim Matsui/Getty Images)

 A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Tuesday upheld a preliminary injunction that blocks a policy by President Donald Trump's administration that would allow employers to refuse to provide contraceptive health care on religious grounds.

A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that when a full trial is held, 14 states led by California were likely to win their claim that the opt-out plan for employee health insurance coverage violates the Affordable Care Act.

 The court upheld a preliminary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge Haywood Gilliam of Oakland.

 The injunction applies in 14 states and the District of Columbia. 

 Another federal appeals court, the 3rd Circuit, has upheld a nationwide preliminary injunction issued by a federal judge in Philadelphia. The U.S. Justice Department has appealed that ruling to the Supreme Court. 

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement, "Once again, our courts have blocked the Trump Administration's unlawful attempt to trample on women's rights."