A federal judge Wednesday voided a White House supported rule making it easier for doctors, nurses, and different healthcare providers to avoid doing abortions and other medical services on religious or moral fronts.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan stated the “conscience” rule was illegally coercive because it will let the U.S. Division of Health and Human Services (HHS) withhold billions of dollars of funding from hospitals, clinics, universities and different healthcare providers that didn’t comply.
The judge further mentioned the rule was “arbitrary and capricious” and conflicted with federal laws governing the responsibilities of employers to accommodate staff’s religious views — hospitals to offer emergency treatment to poor sufferers.
Engelmayer’s decision covered a suit by New York state, New York City, and 21 different states and municipalities that are led by Democrats or typically lean Democratic, in addition to two suits by Planned Parenthood and various healthcare providers. California has filed its lawsuit versus the rule.
A spokesperson for HHS said that the company and the U.S. Division of Justice had been examining Engelmayer’s decision.
U.S. President Donald Trump, a Republican running for re-election, has made expanding religious liberty a priority, and the conscience rule has gained support from abortion opponents. Previously, the rule was going to take effect on November 22.
New York Attorney General Letitia James, in an announcement, mentioned the rule would have inspired healthcare providers to “openly discriminate” against some sufferers.
The states and municipalities stated the rule might undermine their capability to provide adequate healthcare and upend their efforts to accommodate workers’ beliefs.
Critics also mentioned the rule might deprive gay, transgender, and different sufferers of needed healthcare as a result of some providers might deem them less worthy of therapy.
HHS argued that the rule would assist enforce conscience protection laws that were on the books for many years.