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BANGKOK 19 August 2019 00:39
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U.S. states, cities sue to block Trump 'conscience' rule for healthcare workers

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U.S. states, cities sue to block Trump 'conscience' rule for healthcare workers

By Jonathan Stempel



FILE PHOTO: A pro-choice activist holds a sign in downtown Memphis during a "Stop Abortion Bans Day of Action" rally hosted by the Tennessee chapter of Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Karen Pulfer Focht


NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two dozen U.S. states and municipalities sued the Trump administration on Tuesday to stop it from enforcing a rule that would make it easier for doctors and nurses to avoid performing abortions on religious or moral grounds.


A lawsuit led by New York Attorney General Letitia James said the expanded "conscience" protections could undermine the ability of states and cities to provide effective healthcare without jeopardizing billions of dollars a year in federal aid.


It also said the rule would upset legislative efforts to accommodate workers' beliefs while ensuring that hospitals, other businesses and staff treat patients effectively.


Sterilizations and assisted suicide are other procedures that might be impeded, according to a complaint filed by New York and 22 other states and municipalities in federal court in Manhattan. California filed a similar lawsuit in San Francisco.


"The federal government is giving health care providers free license to openly discriminate and refuse care to patients," James said in a statement.

The rule is scheduled to take effect on July 22. It will be enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Roger Severino, director of HHS' Office for Civil Rights, said in a statement: "The rule gives life and enforcement tools to conscience protection laws that have been on the books for decades. HHS finalized the conscience rule after more than a year of careful consideration and after analyzing over 242,000 public comments. We will defend the rule vigorously."


President Donald Trump, a Republican, has made expanding religious liberty a priority, and the proposed rule drew support from anti-abortion activists.


Critics, including some civil rights medical groups, have said the rule could deprive some patients, including gay and transgender people, of needed healthcare because they might be deemed less worthy of treatment.


The Manhattan lawsuit said the rule could even prevent hospitals from asking applicants for nursing jobs whether they opposed giving measles vaccinations, even during an outbreak.


So far in 2019, the worst U.S. measles outbreak in a quarter century has sickened 880 people, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Monday.


The plaintiffs in Tuesday's lawsuits are led by Democrats or often lean Democratic.


They also include New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.; the states of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin; and Cook County, Illinois.

Hundreds of lawsuits by Democratic-leaning states and municipalities have targeted White House policies under Trump.


The cases are New York et al v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 19-04676; and California v. Azar et al, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 19-02769.


(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-05-22

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If there's an afterlife, I wonder what Hippocrates' take would be on this new rule.

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I had to read this twice and check the date several times to make sure it wasn't a wind up.  But, on a brighter note, all people adversely affected by this law can stop paying taxes.

I seem to remember the phrase below from my history lessons - 

No taxation without representation. 

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I should start a new religion. #1 commandment: "Thou shalt work no more than 4 hours a day but with pay for 8, with weekends off"

Should take off like gang busters. Employers cannot ask what religion, if any, potential employees adhere to... and I can see many converts among those already with jobs.

Now need a catchy name "Church of the half day saints"? ideas?

  • Haha 2

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7 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

440 pages of light reading--> https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/final-conscience-rule.pdf


Will basically allow any health-professional yahoo to let someone bleed out in the ER because they don't like the "looks" of the soon-to-be-deceased.


First wedding cakes, then marriage licenses, now supposedly sacred "life".


All in the name of religious freedom.


And people bang on about Sharia Law.



Trump administration finalizes ‘conscience’ rule affecting transgender people’s health care


The Trump administration finalized a new rule enabling the discrimination of transgender people in health care on Thursday.


The rule essentially allows health care workers to refer to religious or moral objections when they don’t want to deliver health care services, which would also affect access to abortion and contraception.



Do transgenders require contraception or abortion?

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Law and religion must remain separate for any government to fairly represent their population imo that’s the main reason governments fail in the Middle East and in this country mixing that up is a fiasco in the making

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