Today, March 27, is the deadline for public comments on the proposed Trump-Pence so-called “Conscience” regulation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The measure is designed to harm LGBTQ people and women by prioritizing physicians’ beliefs over life-saving patient care. If finalized, it would empower health care providers to deny LGBTQ people and women necessary care, and deter healthcare organizations and providers from taking appropriate action to guarantee that all patients have access to the care they not only deserve but are legally entitled.
HHS admits it isn’t trying to provide a narrow scope, laying out clearly that the rule would provide “broad protection … to the maximum extent permitted” under federal law for religious and moral objections to “perform or assist in the performance of any part of a health service,” The Advocate reported.
It won’t be limited to hospitals and health centers; it will apply to any facility that receives HHS health care or research-related funding, from dentists, ambulance companies, nursing homes, temporary shelters, pharmacies, and colleges and universities.
The proposal won’t just give medical providers broad and vague abilities to deny care to patients of all kinds — it will specifically harm LGBTQ youth. HHS has included youth suicide prevention programs in this proposal, which will put LGBTQ youth in danger. The plan would even protect job applicants in healthcare who wish to deny services. That could mean LGBTQ health centers may soon be forced to hire doctors and nurses who refuse to work with LGBTQ patients, according to The Advocate.
HRC is urging people to send a message to Trump-Pence that the proposal is wrong by going here.