Thursday, May 02, 2019

Trump's announced 'Conscience Rule' could threaten LGBTQ health

Trump just stabbed the LGBTQ community in the ribs yet again.

It seems that every time the National Day of Prayer rolls around, Trump uses it to gouge the LGBTQ community and thus get in good with right-wing evangelicals. This year is no different.

From The Advocate:

The Department of Health and Human Services today announced its final “conscience rule” excusing health care personnel from participating in procedures to which they have religious or moral objections. 
Activists have warned that the rule could jeopardize health care for LGBTQ people, such as those seeking gender-confirmation procedures or HIV treatment and prevention services, as well as women seeking contraception or abortion. 
A draft of the rule was released in January 2018 so that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights could receive comments from the public on it. Donald Trump announced the finalization of the rule during a Rose Garden speech this morning for the National Day of Prayer, and HHS published the final rule on its website. 
 . . . “This final rule replaces a 2011 rule that has proven inadequate, and ensures that HHS implements the full set of tools appropriate for enforcing the conscience protections passed by Congress,” says an HHS press release. “These federal laws protect providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide. It also includes conscience protections with respect to advance directives.” Notably, the Office for Civil Rights is run by Roger Severino, who has a history of anti-LGBTQ activism. 
Civil rights advocates have feared that the new rule will allow even those marginally involved in providing health care to opt out because of religious objections, therefore making it more difficult for patients to receive care. This rule could severely affect LGBTQ people living in rural areas where there are few health care options. 
“In an attempt to justify more discrimination against transgender people, HHS minimizes the very real pain exemptions like these have caused transgender people,” Gillian Branstetter, media relations manager at the National Center for Transgender Equality, told The Advocate via email. 

Speaking of Severino, the official most behind this monstrosity, Buzzfeed had this to say:

When asked what patients without many health care options were supposed to do if their hospital or health care provider refused to perform the procedures they were seeking, Severino repeatedly avoided the question, instead saying that the US had many health care options, and that “patients want doctors who match their values.”

One more thing about Severino - it is important to note that while he pushes this nonsense, his wife is actively working with another organization to get judges appointed who will uphold it.

This is not meant to scare or depress anyone. Just letting you know where we stand. When we know where we stand, we can begin to fight this. And we will win.

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