In June, Public Health Solutions joined reproductive health and legal advocates in filing a lawsuit challenging a Trump Administration rule that would allow health care workers to deny patients information and treatment on the basis of their religious and moral beliefs. Together with the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, and the American Civil Liberties Union, we sought to stop this unethical “conscience rule” from undermining access to health care for vulnerable groups. Like-minded states, municipalities, and advocates across the country also challenged the rule, creating a widespread wave of opposition.
On November 6, the U.S. District Judge in Manhattan issued a nationally binding decision blocking the rule, finding that it violates a number of federal protections, including the Civil Rights Act. This is a major victory for patients across the country, especially marginalized communities like those we serve. The rule would have disproportionately impacted certain groups, such as LGBTQ and female patients. Health care providers must deliver a full spectrum of services and information without imposing their religious beliefs. We cannot and will not allow the health care system to discriminate against patients.
We are encouraged by this exciting win, but we also know the fight is far from over. The Trump administration will continue its relentless attacks on health care access and reproductive rights. For now, this decision strengthens our resolve in the face of these attacks and in defense of the right to accessible, quality health care.