Trump-Era “Refusal Of Care” Rule Is Rescinded in New Rulemaking
Washington, D.C. — The Biden-Harris Administration has finalized a rule partially reversing a discriminatory Trump-era policy that allowed health care providers to refuse to treat patients or provide care based on personal and religious beliefs, the Department of Health and Human Services announced this week.
The Trump-Pence rule (“Refusal of Care rule”) endangered patients, and women and LGBTQ individuals in particular, by granting health care workers—from physicians and nurses to receptionists, schedulers, EMTs, and call center staff—the right to put their personal beliefs ahead of people’s health, even in emergencies. The rule meant that people could be denied access to care, and even to information about medical options, simply because a health care worker disagrees with a particular service, like birth control, abortion, or gender-affirming health services.
With attorneys from Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the National Women’s Law Center, and Covington & Burling LLP, Democracy Forward sued the Trump-Pence administration to block the Refusal of Care rule on behalf of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and all of Planned Parenthood’s other member affiliates and patients.
Democracy Forward President and CEO Skye Perryman released the following statement in response to the announcement that this policy has been finalized and the Refusal of Care rule has been rescinded:
“This is a big win for patients everywhere, who deserve fair and equal treatment and shouldn’t be subjected to life-threatening discrimination because of a medical provider’s personal or religious beliefs. We are very pleased to have worked with an exceptional group of partners to sue the Trump-Pence administration to block the Refusal of Care rule and we are grateful that this dangerous rule that endangered patients – and women and LGBTQ individuals in particular – has been revoked.”
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