Health Care

Spokane judge becomes second to block Trump administration's 'conscience rule'

Spokane judge becomes second to block Trump administration's 'conscience rule'”

A federal judge in NY overturned the Trump administration's conscience protection rule for health care workers on Wednesday.

On October 30, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California heard arguments in County of Santa Clara v. HHS, where Lambda Legal and co-counsel argued that HHS exceeded its authority and arbitrarily and capriciously failed to consider the rule's potential harm to patients and the health care system, in violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act.

"Wherever the outermost line where persuasion gives way to coercion lies, the threat to pull all HHS funding here crosses it", wrote Engelmayer. Engelmayer was tasked with not only evaluating the rule on its merits but also on its ability to pass the arbitrary and capricious standard outlined by the constitution. Both rule changes are aimed at enabling people with religious objections to exercise those objections in the health services arena. The rule restricted medical providers for procedures like abortion, assisted suicide or sterilization at hundreds of thousands of health organizations.

The rule is created to protect the freedom of individuals and institutions in health care with objections to participating in procedures that violate their consciences or religious beliefs, such as abortion, assisted suicide, sterilization and gender-transition procedures.

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 November 22, The Hill noted. At least eight cases challenging the rule are wending their way through the courts.

The rule spun out of President Donald Trump's promise to expand religious liberty protections under federal law. The conscience rule proposed by his administration has drawn support from abortion opponents.

"No one should have to worry they will be denied the medical care they need simply due to their health care provider's religious, moral, or personal beliefs", said Alexis McGill Johnson, acting president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in a written release.

A federal judge in NY has ruled against President Donald Trump's "conscience rule" for healthcare providers criticized as allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Sasse said the Trump administration must continue to defend the "basic rights of conscience" of citizenship, even if it means going to the Supreme Court.

Engelmayer's decision was also welcomed by Planned Parenthood.

"The Trump Administration's HHS protections would ensure that healthcare professionals are free to work consistent with their religious beliefs while providing the best care to their patients", he added.

"Indeed the Court has found that HHS's stated justification for undertaking rulemaking in the first place - a purported "significant increase" in civilian complaints relating to the Conscience Provisions - was factually untrue", the judge wrote.



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