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The Trump Administration’s New “Conscience” Rule Authorizes Discrimination and Undermines Patient Health and Rights

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The Trump Administration’s New “Conscience” Rule Authorizes Discrimination and Undermines Patient Health and Rights

May 3, 2019, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today condemned the Trump administration’s release of a final rule undermining access to health care and critical patient protections. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“Every single person deserves fair treatment and access to health care free from discrimination, judgment, or political interference. But the Trump administration’s efforts to eviscerate this basic human right through coordinated attacks on the health and well-being of patients will not cease. The outrageous rule released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services continues this devastating trend and spells disaster for patients.

“The finalized refusals rule drew more than 200,000 comments in response to its attempts to allow any individual or entity involved in a patient’s care to use their personal beliefs to dictate that patient’s access to health services. This means that a hospital’s board of directors, an insurance company, or even the receptionist that schedules procedures can refuse to provide an abortion for a woman in an acute medical crisis, fire an employee for having a same-sex partner, or override patient preferences for transition-related care. Granting entire institutions and individual providers the rights of conscience that should be left to patients is an affront to the Jewish traditions of pursuing justice for all and safeguarding individual religious liberty.

“As Jews, we believe that everyone — regardless of their gender identity, race, creed, or any other factors — must be treated with dignity and respect when accessing health care. We will continue to fight the Trump administration’s dangerous, unlawful, and discriminatory policies in the courts, in Congress, and in comments vehemently opposing these regulations.”

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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