Tags: Healthcare Reform | Religion | Supreme Court | Trump Administration | judge | conscience protection | hhs

Second Judge Rejects HHS's 'Conscience Protection' Rule

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(Jacqueline Larma/AP)

By    |   Thursday, 07 November 2019 05:34 PM

A federal judge in Spokane, Washington, on Thursday struck down the Trump administration's so-called conscience protection rule that would have given medical workers the right to refuse care to patients on religious or moral grounds.

The decision mirrors a similar decision in New York on Wednesday that also would prevent medical workers from refusing to participate in abortions and other procedures.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year in Spokane and argued the rule would jeopardize access to reproductive healthcare, particularly for low-income people in rural areas. It would also allow providers to discriminate against LGBTQ individuals.

Washington was one of a number of states, cities and advocacy groups — including New York, California, San Francisco, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood — that had sued over the rule set to go into effect Nov. 22, The Hill noted. 

In New York City on Wednesday, District Judge Paul Engelmayer said the Health and Human Services Department overstepped its authority and went beyond existing law in issuing the rule. 

He also said the measure could be costly, burdensome, and damaging to emergency care and the whole rationale for the rule was based on a lie.

He said the department's claim there was a significant increase in complaints about workers being forced to violate their conscience was "flatly untrue."

The HHS rule, he said, is a classic "solution in search of a problem."

The Hill noted the rule was part of a series of policies outlined by HHS's Office for Civil Rights to reshape the agency to align with religious conservatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A federal judge in Spokane, Washington, on Thursday struck down the Trump administration's so-called conscience protection rule that would have given medical workers the right to refuse care to patients on religious or moral grounds.
judge, conscience protection, hhs, medicine, religious rights
266
2019-34-07
Thursday, 07 November 2019 05:34 PM
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