Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Trump Administration's anti-LGBTQ healthcare 'conscience rule' suffers third court loss

 It is now 0 for 3 for Trump's "healthcare conscience" rule as a court in CA has ruled against it.

From Courthouse News:

U.S. District Judge William Alsup said the latest rule broadens protections “beyond what Congress intended and will hamstring the delivery of health care.”  
 In his ruling, Alsup cited an example raised at a hearing last month by a lawyer for the city of San Francisco suggesting an ambulance driver could actually expel a patient en route to a hospital for an emergency abortion. “Such harsh treatment would be blessed by the new rule,” Alsup said.  
“Although this order does not accept all of plaintiffs’ criticisms, this order holds that the new rule conflicts with those statutes in a number of ways and upsets the balance drawn by Congress between protecting conscientious objections versus protecting the uninterrupted effective flow of health care to Americans.” Alsup said the HHS went too far in promulgating the rule, which none of the current statutes grant it authority to do. 

Earlier this month, a federal court in New York and another one in Washington State both ruled against Trump's announced rule. Since being announced in May, the rule was considered to be very controversial with many pointing out that healthcare workers could exploit it to deny care to members of the LGBTQ community based upon religious beliefs.

According to The Advocate earlier this year:

Many fear the new rule will not only engender confusion but encourage conservative doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health professionals to deny contraception services, transition-related care for transgender people, and even drugs like PrEP, an HIV prevention regimen. The situation could be incredibly dire for women and LGBTQ people in rural areas, where there are much fewer service providers than in urban areas.

In the New York decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer pointed out that the Trump Administration was not being truthful as to the need for this ruleRoger Severino, director of HHS' Office for Civil Rights, had said earlier this year that were hundreds of complaints which demonstrated the need for the new rule. The exact number he used  was 343. 

However, it was discovered that the number of complaints specifically dealing with the rule was only 20.  The other complaints had nothing to do with the religious beliefs of healthcare workers.

Related post:  Who faked the justification for Trump's anti-LGBTQ healthcare 'conscience' rule?

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