NV suing over rule allowing clinicians to refuse abortions

22 Mai, 2019, 10:57 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • NV suing over rule allowing clinicians to refuse abortions

A lawsuit by a coalition of almost two dozen states and cities, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, alleges that the rule illegally favors the personal views of health-care workers over the needs of patients - "at a unsafe price" of hobbling the ability of state-run health-care facilities to provide effective care.

New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Trump administration, arguing that a new regulation would let health care providers discriminate and refuse care to patients based on their personal beliefs.

The California lawsuit said the rule issued by the Department of Health and Human Services creates a broad exemption for any individual, entity or provider to deny patients basic health care, even in emergencies. This refusal of care rule threatens to cause incredible mischief.

Injunctions by two courts last month halted new antiabortion restrictions on the use of money for family planning services under the Title X program. It will be enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule is scheduled to take effect in July.

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According to the NY lawsuit, the rule drastically expands the number of health providers who can refuse to provide services, allowing everyone from ambulance drivers to receptionists and customer service representatives at insurance companies to cite the rule.

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.

The lawsuit said the rule conflicts with various state laws requiring health care professionals to carry out certain actions even if they can not comply with some health-care directives for reasons of conscience. The rule also risks "undermining longstanding efforts by those institutions to build trust with the patient communities they serve", the suit says.

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".

In the new case, New York state was joined by New York City, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.

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