A judge on Thursday ruled against the
Trump administration's “conscience rule” for healthcare
The rule allows healthcare workers to
refuse to perform procedures based on their religious beliefs.
At least eight cases have been filed
challenging the rule.
U.S. District Judge Stanley Bastian
ruled from the bench against the measure and granted summary judgment
in favor of the plaintiff, the state of Washington. He said a written
decision was forthcoming.
“The court agreed that all
Washingtonians deserve to receive the full range of health care
services,” Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a
statement. “This rule would have disproportionately harmed rural
and working poor Washington families, who have no alternatives to
their local health care providers, as well as LGBTQ individuals, who
already face discrimination when they seek medical care.”
Thursday's ruling comes just a day
after another federal judge ruled against the administration's
vacates Trump's “conscience rule” for healthcare providers
criticized as anti-LGBT.)
President Donald Trump announced the
rule during a National Day of Prayer speech he delivered in the White
House Rose Garden. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
announced a final version in May.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called the rule an “attack”
on LGBT people.
“The Trump-Pence administration’s
latest attack threatens LGBTQ people by permitting medical providers
to deny critical care based on personal beliefs,” HRC Government
Affairs Director David Stacy said in a statement. “The
administration’s decision puts LGBTQ people at greater risk of
being denied necessary and appropriate health care solely based on
their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone deserves access
to medically necessary care and should never be turned away because
of who they are or who they love.”