The Trump administration may make it easier for healthcare providers to deny treatment to LGBT patients and women who had abortions.
The Department of Health and Human Services has drafted new guidance documents expected to undermine provisions made under the Obamacare Act, The Hill reports. The proposed legislation from the HHS is expected to revoke civil rights protections implemented in 2016 which make it illegal for doctors to deny patients “necessary medical attention” based on sexual preference or gender identity.
The current mandate’s implications spurred the attention of the HHS after a healthcare network of faith-based providers called the Franciscan Alliance took umbrage with the policies in court. They won their case on claims that such anti-discrimination provisions “forc[ed] doctors to violate their medical judgment and perform harmful gender transition procedures on children,” as the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty explained in an email to The Hill. The Fund represented the Alliance.
“The old rule never had a legal leg to stand on,” they said.
Despite his professed solidarity with queer and transgender communities, President Trump nevertheless admitted to having his own “religious objections to the contraceptive mandate” as well. However, this new rule from the HHS would permit healthcare organizations to claim an “exemption to the mandate, even if their objections aren’t faith-based” if passed.
Although the proposal’s due-date remains uncertain, attorneys at both the ACLU and Lambda Legal are prepared to respond swiftly and fiercely. As senior staff attorney Joshua Block of the ACLU said to the Hill: “We’ll make sure they hear every objection and justify what they’re doing.”