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Pro-choice supporters and staff of Planned Parenthood hold a rally outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 2019.

Pro-choice supporters and staff of Planned Parenthood hold a rally outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri, May 31, 2019.(Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

'Great News!': Federal Court Voids Trump Administration's Discriminatory 'Conscience Rule'

Trump's Department of Health and Human Services, wrote District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, promulgated the rule "arbitrarily and capriciously."

Andrea Germanos

A federal judge on Wednesday voided the Trump administration's so-called "conscience rule" that opponents said would have given healthcare providers license to discriminate.

"Great news! A federal judge just blocked Trump's harmful and discriminatory refusal of care rule," Rep.Barbara Lee wrote on Twitter. "No one should be denied care because of a provider's personal beliefs."

Trump's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) promulgated the rule "arbitrarily and capriciously," wrote District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer in his 147-page ruling.

Engelmayer added that HHS's violations of federal law were "numerous, fundamental, and far-reaching," as NPR noted.

As Common Dreams previously reported,

Under the rule, opponents fear doctors and nurses would be given carte blanche to refuse to administer any medical procedure—with abortion care, gender confirmation surgery and hormone therapy for transgender patients, euthanasia, and sterilization likely coming under attack.

Employers would also be able to refuse to provide insurance coverage for procedures they consider objectionable.

New York Attorney General Letitia James, who led a coalition of states and municipalities in suing the administration over the rule, praised the decision.

"Healthcare is a basic right that should never be subject to political games," James said in a statement.

"Once again, the courts have blocked the Trump administration from implementing a discriminatory rule that would only hurt Americans," she continued. "The refusal of care rule was an unlawful attempt to allow healthcare providers to openly discriminate and refuse to provide necessary healthcare to patients based on providers' 'religious beliefs or moral objections.' We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to protect access to healthcare and protect the rights of all individuals."

The rule had been set to take effect November 22.


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Big Business Lobby Endorses Permitting Overhaul as Manchin Tries to Salvage Dirty Deal

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a powerful corporate group allied with fossil fuel interests, called Manchin's bill "thoughtful" as environmentalists warn it would further damage the planet.

Jake Johnson ·


Biden's Student Debt Relief to Cost a Fraction of US Giveaways to the Megarich and Pentagon

"In contrast to President Trump and Republicans who gave giant corporations $2 trillion in tax breaks, President Biden delivered transformative middle-class relief," said two senators.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Climate Change Is the Asteroid,' Say Critics of NASA Earth Defense Mission

"The actual clear and present danger to humanity is of course Earth breakdown from burning fossil fuels," said one NASA climate scientist.

Brett Wilkins ·


After Nearly a Decade in Exile, Snowden Granted Russian Citizenship

While the whistleblower said "a little stability" would benefit his family, one digital rights advocate noted that "if the Biden administration dropped the charges against Snowden, Putin wouldn't be able to use him for a PR stunt."

Jessica Corbett ·


Peace Group Urges US and China to Halt 'Blatantly Provocative' Military Maneuvers

The co-chairs of the Committee for a SANE U.S.-China Policy called on American and Chinese leaders to "immediately take unilateral and bilateral steps to reduce the risk of an accidental or unintended clash."

Brett Wilkins ·

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