President Biden is preparing to rescind the Trump administration-era religious-conscious rule for healthcare workers.
Background: In 2018 Donald Trump announced the new rule.
Its aim was to exempt healthcare workers from providing medical services that ran counter to their religious beliefs, such as abortion, contraception, vasectomies, gender transition procedures, or services relating to HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
The rule was struck down in November 2019 by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in New York just weeks before it was set to go into effect. The Obama appointee sided with the nearly two dozen mostly Democratic states, municipalities, and health advocacy groups in his ruling that the Trump administration lacked statutory authority to issue the rule. In his decision, Engelmayer said that it violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. (The Washington Examiner)
What Happened: The Department of Health and Human Services is “in the rulemaking process,” according to reports from Politico.
What Comes Next: HHS could announce an end to the policy in the form of a proposed rule as soon as this month.
What It Means: The move by HHS to rescind the rule reflects the Biden administration’s effort to undo Trump administration directives that liberals viewed as civil rights violations.
“Everyone is entitled to their religious beliefs, but religious beliefs do not include a license to discriminate, to deny essential care, or to cause harm to others,” the American Civil Liberties Union said when Engelmayer struck down the rule. (per The Washington Examiner)