U.S. Supreme Court to hear Trump appeal in Obamacare contraception fight

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took up an appeal by President Donald Trump's administration seeking to enforce new federal rules allowing employers to obtain religious exemptions from an Obamacare requirement that health insurance that they provide to employees pays for women's birth control.

At issue is a challenge by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the administration's 2018 rule that permits broad religious and moral exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate, expanding accommodations already allowed under the 2010 law dubbed Obamacare. The administration has asked the Supreme Court to reverse a nationwide injunction issued by a lower court blocking the rule from taking effect.

The administration was joined by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an Roman Catholic order of nuns that is one of the groups seeking an exemption for its employees. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)