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Leaked birth control rule would broaden religious exemption

Women's groups are threatening to take the Trump administration to court after a leaked draft regulation revealed a plan to let employers opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women for religious and moral reasons. | File photo

WASHINGTON — Women’s groups are threatening to take the Trump administration to court after a leaked draft regulation revealed a plan to let employers opt out of providing no-cost birth control to women for religious and moral reasons.

The White House is refusing comment, calling the 125-page document posted online by the news site Vox an “alleged draft.”

A government website shows that a rule on preventive services — which includes birth control — is under final review by the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Advocates on both sides and leading lawmakers in Congress were treating the leaked draft as an actual administration document.

However, federal regulations can change significantly in the final stage of White House review.