Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services wants to let healthcare providers use their religious beliefs to justify turning away patients in need, despite that it betrays the department’s own mission, and could have disastrous consequences, particularly for women and LGBT patients when they need critical care. On a prompt from the ACLU, I submitted the following public comment. Taking public comment on this proposed rule means that HHS must consider the comments and respond to them.
I write in strong opposition to your proposed rule entitled “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority.” Reject and withdraw this proposed religious refusals rule. It values religious and moral beliefs over patient protections and encourages discrimination.
The Department of Health and Human Services should be protecting our health, not proposing rules that could hurt the health and lives of women, trans people, LGB people, people living with HIV, and others seeking critical care.
While religious liberty is a core right protecting everyone’s beliefs, it does not mean the right to discriminate and harm – but that is precisely what this cruel and dangerous proposed rule is intended to do. Because the proposed rule harms patient health and encourages discrimination against patients, it should be rejected in full and withdrawn.
Photo credit: Mary Olberding