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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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Senate Dems Propose Talking Filibuster for Voting Rights

"If Senate Democrats can find the political courage this moment requires, they have the tools right now to pass voting rights legislation and save our democracy."

Jessica Corbett ·


94% of AZ Progressives Support Primary Challenge if Sinema Kills Voting Rights

"Sinema can betray Arizonans, but there aren't enough pharma lobbyists in the world to keep her in office if she does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Dems Urged to Hold Senate Floor for 'As Long As It Takes'

"Call your senators now and tell them to hold the floor, keep the debate going, and fix or ditch the filibuster to pass democracy reform," says Indivisible.

Jessica Corbett ·


Exxon Net-Zero Plan Called Greenwashing From 'Climate Liar'

"Exxon and Big Oil's whole strategy is to pretend that fossil fuels can be part of the solution so that they can delay the adoption of renewables another year and keep profiting from oil and gas."

Julia Conley ·


Rising US Renewables Expected to Spur Decline in Fracked Gas

"Renewable energy is starting to do to natural gas what natural gas did to coal."

Kenny Stancil ·

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