One of Donald Trump’s most dangerous and anti-LGBTQ rules has been officially eliminated and replaced by the Biden administration.
The Trump era rule, titled “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” did let health care providers opt out of procedures to which they object on religious or moral grounds, even in cases of emergency. Pregnant women and the LGBTQ community were the targets of the rule.
The workers who could claim a religious exemption to do their jobs included doctors, nurses, pharmacists, billing staff, receptionists, and emergency responders.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that removed the possibility.
“The so-called ‘Denial of Care Rule,’ which was issued in May 2019, confronted health care facilities with the real risk losing essential federal funding if they did not grant employees carte blanche to deny services,” Lambda Legal Chief Legal Officer Jennifer C. Pizer explained in a statement.
“Because the rule was confusing and infeasible to implement, many health care facilities could have been forced to eliminate services such as reproductive and LGBTQ care, leaving millions across the United States without access to critical health care,” she said.
“We are grateful that HHS has removed from the books the prior rule’s explicit invitation to discriminate against pregnant people, anyone in need of gender-affirming medical care, and LGBTQ+ patients in general, regardless of their medical needs,” she continued.
“No patient, no matter their religion, sex, race, gender identity, or sexual orientation, should fear being denied the medical care they need based on other people’s religious beliefs.”