With the Trump administration's new Denial of Care Rule, none of us are safe.

The Denial of Care Rule empowers virtually any health care worker – doctors, surgeons, nurses, receptionists, orderlies – to deny care to any patient, no matter how dire the patient’s medical needs, based on personal religious or moral objections. The rule sets no limits on what constitutes a religious or moral refusal, nor does it establish appropriate safeguards to ensure that patients who are denied care get the treatment they need.

On May 28, 2019, Americans United, joined by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Lambda Legal and in coordination with Santa Clara County, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Denial of Care. And on June 5, 2019, Americans United partnered with Baltimore to file a second federal lawsuit to stop the rule.

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Women seeking reproductive health care, the LGBTQ community and religious minorities are the intended targets, but the Denial of Care Rule doesn’t stop there. It is so broad that all of us – including sick children, pregnant women and senior citizens – are at risk. 

The rule could be cited by health care workers to discriminate against patients in these and a host of other cases: An ambulance driver could refuse to transport a woman with an ectopic pregnancy. A pediatrician could refuse to treat a child who has Muslim parents. A receptionist could turn away an interfaith couple seeking fertility treatment. An orderly in a nursing home could refuse to change the bedpan of a Jewish patient. 

"We will not tolerate this dangerous policy that puts the health of women, LGBTQ people, religious minorities and so many others in jeopardy. Our government should be protecting America’s patients, not putting their lives at risk and calling it religious freedom." 

~ AU President and CEO Rachel Laser

developments

Nov. 7, 2019: U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian in Washington echoed Judge Engelmayer's opinion that the Denial of Care Rule is unlawful and unconstitutional and also blocked it from going into effect. Read AU's statement here.

Nov. 6, 2019: U.S. District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer in New York issued an opinion that the Denial of Care Rule is unlawful and unconstitutional and he blocked it from taking effect on Nov. 22. Read AU's statement here and our blog post here.

Oct. 30, 2019: Americans United, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal, the County of Santa Clara and pro bono counsel Mayer Brown LLP, argued in a federal court in San Francisco that the Trump administration’s Denial of Care Rule is unlawful and should be blocked from going into effect on Nov. 22, 2019. Read our statement here and our blog post here.

June 12, 2019: Americans United and Baltimore urged the U.S. District Court in Maryland to issue a nationwide injunction to block the Denial of Care Rule from going into effect while our lawsuit is pending. Read the motion here.

June 11, 2019: Americans United, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal and Santa Clara County, Calif., urged the U.S. District Court in Northern California to issue a nationwide injunction to block the Denial of Care Rule from going into effect while the coalition’s lawsuit is pending. Read the motion here; read our statement here.

June 5, 2019: Americans United partnered with Baltimore to file a federal lawsuit (Mayor and City Council of Baltimore v. Azar) in Maryland to challenge the Trump administration's Denial of Care Rule. The rule would have grave consequences for Baltimore, whose population includes many historically marginalized groups and which has elevated health risks. Read the complaint here; read our statement here.

May 28, 2019: Americans United, joined by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Lambda Legal, filed a federal lawsuit (County of Santa Clara v. HHS) in California challenging the Denial of Care in coordination with Santa Clara County. We are representing Trust Women Seattle, Hartford GYN, Whitman-Walker Health, Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Center on Halsted, Mazzoni Center, GLMA, Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists, Medical Students for Choice and various physicians. Read the complaint here; read our statement here.

May 2, 2019: On the National Day of Prayer, President Trump announced the Denial of Care Rule, which empowers virtually any health care worker to deny care to any patient based on personal religious or moral objections. Read AU's statement here and our blog post here.

Jan. 19, 2018: The Trump administration proposed the Denial of Care Rule the day after the Department of Health and Human Services created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to enforce extreme and harmful interpretations of federal religious freedom laws. Read AU's statement here and a blog post about the propose rule here.

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