REPORT: Judge overturns Trump-backed rule to protect religious and moral freedoms
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A federal judge on Wednesday struck down a Trump administration rule that would have made it easier for medical providers to avoid performing abortions and other medical services on religious or moral grounds.
U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan called the “conscience rule,” enacted by the Department of Health and Human Services, “coercive,” and said the basis for the rule’s enactment was “factually untrue.”
The article goes on to state the following:
“Wherever the outermost line where persuasion gives way to coercion lies, the threat to pull all HHS funding here crosses it,” Engelmayer, an Obama appointee, wrote. The rule would have allowed HHS to revoke federal funds for care centers that failed to comply. The number of entities covered by the rule would have included more than 600,000 hospitals, dentist’s offices and others. It also included family planning clinics, medical schools and local governments. It was estimated to cost $394 million in the first year to implement and around $1 billion over five years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“The court’s finding that the rule was promulgated arbitrarily and capriciously calls into question the validity and integrity of the rulemaking venture itself,” said Engelmayer. “Indeed, the court has found that HHS’s stated justification for undertaking rule-making in the first place — a purported ’significant increase’ in civilian complaints relating to the conscience provisions — was factually untrue.”
“Where H.H.S. claimed that the rule was justified by complaints made to it, the administrative record reflects a yawning evidentiary gap,” Engelmayer continued, according to The New York Times.
The rule would have taken effect on Nov. 22.
Judge voids Trump administration's 'conscience rule' letting health-care providers refuse to give care for religious, moral reasons https://t.co/JICEUA1sgL
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 6, 2019
NEW: A NY federal judge has blocked the Trump admin's "conscience" rule, which would let health workers refuse to do certain procedures — like abortion or sex reassignment surgery — that violate their conscience or religion: https://t.co/jGogvJVQD4
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) November 6, 2019
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