May 24, 2019 at 6:42 am EDT | by Staff reports
States revolt against new health care policy
conscience protections, gay news, Washington Blade
New York Attorney General Letitia James leads a lawsuit filed by a coalition of nearly two dozen states and cities alleging rule changes illegally favor personal views of health care workers over the needs of patients. (Photo public domain)

WASHINGTON — A group of mostly Democratic states filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Tuesday, challenging a new federal rule that gives health care providers, insurers and employers greater latitude to refuse to provide or pay for medical services that they say violate their religious or moral beliefs, the Washington Post reports. It’s being called “conscience protections.”

Some observers have said LGBT people are acutely at risk under the rule, especially in the area of trans health care. 

A lawsuit by a coalition of nearly 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 dangerous price” of hobbling the ability of state-run health care facilities to provide effective care, the Post reports. 

A separate suit, brought by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, alleges that the rule “impedes access to basic care” and “encourages discrimination against vulnerable patients,” including women and LGBT individuals, the Post reports. 

The suits, plus one brought earlier this month by the city of San Francisco, seek to block the rule, announced by President Trump early this month and published Tuesday in the Federal Register. It allows individuals and entities to refrain from delivering or paying for services such as abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide if they have a religious or moral objection to them. The 440-page rule also grants parents rights to refuse several specific types of care for their children, the Post reports.

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