Several nonprofits, including abortion giant Planned Parenthood, filed two lawsuits in Manhattan federal court Tuesday challenging the Trump administration’s recently announced conscience rule that allows healthcare workers to abstain from participating in abortions or providing other services due to moral or religious objections.
The lawsuits, cited by Reuters, argue that the new rule that takes effect on July 22, will encourage discrimination against women, minorities, the poor, the uninsured, and members of the LGBT community.
“Trust is the cornerstone of the physician-patient relationship,” Leana Wen, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “No one should have to worry if they will get the right care or information because of their providers’ personal beliefs.”
The conscience protection rule was praised by conservatives and religious freedom advocates.
“We need more health care in this country — not less. We all win if nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals can heal others without fear of being forced from their life’s work because of their religious beliefs,” Becket Executive Director Montse Alvarado said at the time.
Also listed among the plaintiffs of the lawsuits are the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association and Public Health Solutions Inc., which are represented by The American Civil Liberties Union.
“The ACLU will not stand by as our government institutes policy that could endanger people’s lives” Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, senior staff attorney with the Reproductive Freedom Project at the ACLU said in a statement Tuesday. “Freedom of religion is a fundamental right, but it cannot be used to harm others — especially when that includes withholding emergency care or critical information about patients’ health.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair