Judge strikes down Trump moral-objection rule for health care

Judge strikes down new federal abortion rule

Judge strikes down new federal abortion rule

A federal district judge in NY has ruled against a Trump administration rule meant to protect the conscience rights of health care workers.

"The Court vacates the 2019 rule in its entirety", US District Judge Paul Engelmayer wrote in an opinion Wednesday, noting that existing federal conscience provisions "accommodate religious and moral objections to health care services provided by recipients of federal funds" and "recognize and protect undeniably important rights". NY attorney General Letitia James led the lawsuit on behalf of 19 states and the District of Columbia, which argued that the policy allows Americans to "openly discriminate and refuse to provide necessary health care to patients based on providers" "religious beliefs or moral objections'".

The ruling came right after wellbeing businesses and other people sued the U.S. Section of Health and fitness and Human Companies.

"Health care is a basic right that should never be subject to political games", AG James said in the lawsuit.

HHS told ABC News it will not comment on the pending litigation and is now reviewing the court's opinion alongside the Justice Department. The Justice Department declined to comment.

Graves said the rule would allow "anyone from a doctor to a receptionist, to entities like hospitals and pharmacies" to deny critical "sometimes lifesaving" care to patients.

Critics have also said the rule could deprive gay, transgender and other patients of needed healthcare because some providers might deem them less worthy of treatment. They argued that the rule illegally favored the personal views of health-care workers over the needs of patients and threatened to hobble the ability of state-run health-care facilities to provide effective care.

Rosie Phillips Davis, president of the American Psychological Association, said the HHS rule "could have jeopardized the health of some of our most vulnerable populations, including women, LGBT people and people with HIV or AIDS".

Engelmayer's decision covered a lawsuit by New York state, New York City and 21 other states and municipalities that are led by Democrats or often lean Democratic, as well as two lawsuits by Planned Parenthood and other healthcare providers. "We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect access to health care and protect the rights of all individuals".

"Today, the Trump administration has been blocked from providing legal cover for discrimination", McGill Johnson said.

But many physician and health advocacy groups contended the rule would have disproportionately harmed certain groups of patients, including LGBTQ patients.

HHS cites 358 complaints between November 2016 and the end of fiscal year 2018, but Engelmayer notes the Trump administration has admitted six percent are duplicates, leaving only 343, and "only around 20 complaints implicate any of the conscience provisions".

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