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Federal judge blocks enforcement of transgender, abortion-related ObamaCare rule

A federal judge in Texas on Saturday granted a temporary injunction against enforcement of an ObamaCare rule concerning abortion and transgender patients which otherwise would have gone into effect Sunday.

The Affordable Care Act prohibits "discrimination on the basis of gender identity and termination of pregnancy," a provision U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor said likely runs afoul of freedom of conscience protections guaranteed in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The plaintiffs in the case object that the rule forces "them to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment."

O'Connor is the same judge who in August temporarily blocked the Obama administration from enforcing national guidelines requiring public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms matching the gender with which they identify.