Published: Sat, May 04, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

San Francisco sues Trump over conscience rights

San Francisco sues Trump over conscience rights

The rule does not add any new laws; it merely strengthens enforcement of rules already on the books to protect providers' religious beliefs, Severino said in a conference call with reporters.

Samuels is now director of the Williams Institute, a think tank on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy that conducts independent research and surveys related to LGBT issues.

Now the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released over 400 pages of new federal regulations that are auspiciously entitled, "Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care". "By contrast, this administration is simultaneously trying to restrict universal access to care through attacks on the ACA and expand the authorization for denials of care by religious providers".

The announcement drew applause from the crowd but was criticized by others, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which said the new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services will adversely affect patients who are denied care by health care workers citing moral or religious objections.

"If those religious institutions are not there ... no one gets care in many circumstances", he said.

The Sunlight Foundation reported that last month the HHS Office of Civil Rights overhauled its mission statement, to heavily emphasize the office's role in protecting "conscience and free exercise of religion". And it requires applicants for HHS federal financial assistance to provide assurances and certifications of compliance.

The Trump administration on Thursday adopted protections for medical professionals who have moral objections to performing certain controversial procedures.

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National Right to Life, an organization that opposes abortion, praised Trump's action.

Those enforcement mechanisms have been stepped up, an administration official explained to reporters yesterday, because a previous Obama-era rule was found insufficient to adequately enforce federal conscience protections.

The rule makes plain that workers can not be compelled to participate in abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide procedures, but is vague about other services - such as hormonal and surgical treatments for transgender individuals - that some health professionals may also find objectionable on moral grounds.

"As we unite on this day of prayer, we renew our resolve to protect communities of faith and ensure that all people and all of our people can live, pray and worship in peace". "The impact will be felt most by women, people of color, and LGBTQIA patients, who are more likely to face discrimination and be refused health care like abortion and contraception".

For more than 40 years, federal law has protected conscience rights of Americans in the context of health care.

Letting personal religious beliefs get in the way of care is "outrageous, immoral, and risky", said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, in a statement. The proposal was published on January 26, 2018, and HHS said it received more than 242,000 comments by the March 27, 2018, deadline. On the other hand, religious-rights groups have lobbied for the changes. "That principle is enshrined in countless laws and regulations but has been violated for far too long".

Conservatives believe the First Amendment clearly protects people from being forced to violate their own religious beliefs on issues like abortion.

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