Cross on American flag The ruleexceeds the authority of HHS, according to a California lawsuit,while another says it is unconstitutional. (Photo:Shutterstock)

|

The Trump administration has agreed to postpone implementationof a rule that would allow medical workers to refuse to performabortions or other treatments on moral or religious grounds whilelawyers duke it out over a challenge to the rule in a Californiacourt.

|

According to the Associated Press, the rule was announced in Mayand was scheduled to take effect on July 22. However, reports The Hill, it is being challenged innumerous lawsuits that include one filed by a coalition ofDemocratic states, another filed in Santa Clara County by acoalition that includes Lambda Legal, Americans United forSeparation of Church and State and the Center for ReproductiveRights, a third by the city of San Francisco and another byCalifornia Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D).

|

Related: HHS rule change protects 'conscience' carerefusals

|

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in acourt filing Saturday that implementation would be delayed at leastuntil November 22 due to the legal challenges. The rule exceeds theauthority of HHS, according to a California lawsuit, while anothersays it is unconstitutional.

|

The Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care;Delegations of Authority rule would, according to the AP, “requireinstitutions that receive money from federal programs to certifythat they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscienceand religious rights” pertaining chiefly to medical procedures suchas abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

|

San Francisco alone would stand to lose some $1 billion infederal funds for health care-related programs. “The Trumpadministration is trying to systematically limit access to criticalmedical care for women, the LGBTQ community, and other vulnerablepatients,” San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera said in astatement when announcing the city's lawsuit. “Hospitals are noplace to put personal beliefs above patient care.”

|

In a statement, New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) saidafter filing suit, “The federal government is giving health careproviders free license to openly discriminate and refuse care topatients – a gross misinterpretation of religious freedom that willhave devastating consequences on communities throughout thecountry.”

|

Read more: 

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com
NOT FOR REPRINT

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.