The Trump administration’s dangerous Denial of Care Rule, which would invite anyone who works in the health care profession to cite their religious beliefs to deny services to others, was supposed to go into effect today. That’s not happening, in part thanks to the work of Americans United and its allies.
Three federal courts have struck down the rule, most recently on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge William Alsup declared that the rule was so flawed it could not stand and threw it out in its entirety.
“When a rule is so saturated with error, as here, there is no point in trying to sever the problematic provisions,” Alsup wrote. “The whole rule must go.”
One of the cases before Alsup, County of Santa Clara v. HHS, was filed by Americans United, the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal, the County of Santa Clara and pro bono legal counsel Mayer Brown LLP. (AU also is involved in a separate case challenging the rule in Baltimore.) So far, things are going swimmingly: Prior to the ruling in AU’s case, two other federal courts, one in New York and one in Washington state, also had invalidated the rule.
Implementation of the rule would have been a disaster. Imagine showing up at an emergency room in medical distress or summoning an ambulance and having potentially life-saving care delayed or denied because someone on staff decides, for whatever reason, that helping you offends their religious beliefs. This video AU produced explains just how dangerous the Denial of Care Rule would be:
Americans United is proud of the role we played in blocking this reckless rule, but we know the fight isn’t over. The Trump administration is likely to pursue appeals. So AU will keep fighting in court and promoting legislative solutions such as the Put Patients First Act.
All Americans should be thankful that this ill-considered rule that would put millions of lives at risk isn’t going into effect today. Please work with us to ensure that it never does.