San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued the Trump administration on Thursday, accusing it of effectively sacrificing patients’ health and lives by expanding “conscience” protections for patients and health care professionals who opposed controversial treatments.
“At its core, this rule is about denying people medical care,” Herrera said, according to a press release from Thursday. “This administration is willing to sacrifice patients’ health and lives — particularly those of women, members of the LGBTQ community and low-income families — to score right-wing political points. It’s reprehensible.”
Herrera was one of many critics who blasted the administration’s decision after the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) announced it would beef up enforcement of protections for health care professionals who objected to procedures like euthanasia, abortion and sterilization.
“People’s health should not be a political football,” Herrera added. “The intent of this new rule is clear: It’s to prioritize religious beliefs over patient care, thereby undermining access to contraception, abortion, HIV treatment and a host of other medical services.
“We are not going to let the Trump administration push our country back to 1940s health care.”
The city’s lawsuit requested that a court lock the administration from implementing the rule and declare it unconstitutional. According to Herrera’s office, the new rule — it applies to government-funded entities — would also put it at risk of losing nearly $1 billion in federal funding that it says helps low-income families, foster children and others.
Roger Severino, director of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, defended the policy as a way to provide conscience protections with the same enforcement as other civil rights laws. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in health care, it’s the law,” he declared.
Full story at Fox News.
See previous CalCatholic story, “HHS announces implementation of conscience rule“