A federal district judge in New York has ruled against a Trump administration rule meant to protect the conscience rights of health care workers.
In a 147-page decision issued on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer found the administration’s “conscience rule” unconstitutional because it uses the withholding of federal funds as an enforcement mechanism and ruled that the department of Health and Human Services acted “acted arbitrarily and capriciously” in promulgating it. The ruling also claims that the department was invoking powers that weren’t granted to it by Congress via federal law.
The measure was supposed to go into effect on November 22; however, Engelmayer — an Obama appointee — decided to vacate it “in its entirety.”
The Trump administration announced the rule back in May as an effort to protect the rights of people and institutions in the health care field who have moral objections to certain procedures like abortion, the provision of contraception, or “assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.”
“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” reads a statement from OCR Director Roger Severino at the time of introduction. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.” (For more the author of “Federal Judge Strikes down Trump Admin Rule Protecting Pro-Life Doctors” please click HERE)