A federal judge in New York on Wednesday struck down the Trump administration’s “conscience rule” that protects providers, clinicians, and health care entities who object to providing abortions and other medical procedures on moral and religious grounds.
According to the HHS website, the anti-discrimination rule protects “providers, individuals, and other health care entities from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for, services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.”
Judge Paul A. Engelmayer ruled on Wednesday in Manhattan that the rule was unconstitutional.
The Associated Press reports,
The ruling came after health organizations and others sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Others opposing the rule include women’s groups, organizations and states.
The rule let clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral and religious beliefs.
Engelmayer said his ruling came in three consolidated lawsuits. One consists of 19 states, the District of Columbia and three local governments.
HHS had explained in 2018 that it only finalized the rule after careful analysis of over 242,000 public comments. The agency has not yet responded to Wednesday's ruling.
Judge Engelmayer did provide that HHS is at "liberty to consider and promulgate rules governing these provisions," so long as they are done "within the confines of the APA and the Constitution."
Read text from the the ruling below.