The Trump administration keeps trying to roll back protections for minorities across the United States — and they keep facing steep challenges in court. This week, a coalition of civil rights groups filed suit against them for a new rule they unveiled meant to protect the supposed rights of healthcare providers to refuse service based on their own religious beliefs. This could culminate in issues like transgender individuals getting denied medical care in addition to women’s reproductive health services getting again undercut on top of so many other issues.
The groups behind the latest lawsuit challenging this provision include Lambda Legal, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Lambda Legal’s attorney Jamie Gliksberg shared:
‘This rule erodes trust between patients and providers. Health care providers should not be encouraged to toy with whether to provide life-saving care.’
The criminal complaint her organization has helped file ahead of the rule’s set effective date of July 22 further bluntly asserts that the provision “endangers patients’ health in the name of advancing the religious beliefs of those who are entrusted with caring for them — a result sharply at odds with the stated mission of the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Others to have already sued include a coalition led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and the city of San Francisco, which historically has led the way in advancing LGBTQ rights, having hosted the first same-sex marriages in the entire country. President Donald Trump personally announced the rule at an event for this year’s National Day of Prayer, so it’s not as though the other side of this issue is thinly staffed.
The Trump administration has already unveiled a number of other measures against LGBTQ people in the United States, including perhaps most prominently their ban on transgender people serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, which the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to go into effect.
There’s more too, like their recently revealed plans to allow for religious adoption organizations across the entire country to refuse to work with same-sex couples, a step that lower-level Republicans have attempted before.
Their attempt to drag healthcare into their wide-ranging torrent against minority rights, women’s rights and beyond comes as Republicans across the country do the same with their apparent green light that direction from the White House.
In a number of states, Republican-majority legislatures have passed strict bans on abortion, including in Alabama, where Governor Kay Ivey recently signed one of the most restrictive such bills into law in the entire country. It makes providing an abortion a crime that would culminate in as much as 99 years in prison for health care providers and goes into effect within months, coming alongside similar measures in states like Georgia and Mississippi, where a court has already ruled against their plan. Other cases are underway against the similar plans that are unfolding elsewhere, while some states like Illinois have gotten explicitly pro-abortion legislation rolling in response.
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