National Council of Jewish Women
1707 L Street NW, Suite 950
Washington, DC 20036-4206
Contact: Amanda Lang
Director of Marketing and Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
In New Proposed Rule, Trump Administration Ramps Up Efforts
to Protect Discrimination in Health Care
January 19, 2018, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today denounced the Trump Administration’s move to protect those who discriminate against individuals seeking health care on the basis of their gender identity or other irrelevant grounds. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:
“The Trump Administration has issued a proposed rule that would protect those health care providers — doctors, hospitals, and others — who want to discriminate by selectively withholding needed patient services based on gender identity or other extraneous factors. The new effort seeks to shield the pharmacist who won’t supply contraceptives or drugs that induce miscarriage, and to allow hospitals, doctors, or nurses who refuse to treat transgender patients, among other activities.
“Under the rule, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would initiate audits of federally funded programs (including state programs), mandate new recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and ‘use enforcement tools otherwise available in civil rights law to address violations and resolve complaints.’
“That HHS could seek to void state-level protection is unconscionable. It is the states that issue licenses for medical institutions and providers; if the federal government deems state level anti-discrimination requirements violate the religious beliefs of providers, it could withhold federal funds from those institutions that now obey state law — regardless of the wishes of voters in those states.
“And, just the day before, HHS announced the creation of a new division within the Office of Civil Rights at HHS to enforce the rule.
“NCJW is appalled at the trend in federal policy and enforcement activity toward disrespect and denial of care to people most in need. Just last October, a new Trump Administration rule provided that employers, including for-profit businesses, can claim a moral or religious exemption from providing no-cost contraceptive coverage through their employee health insurance plans. Prior to that, the Department of Education declared that schools need not allow transgender students and staff to use the toilet of their choice.
“These carve-outs threaten the separation of religion and state by putting the federal imprimatur on discrimination. We must fight against such policies in the courts, in Congress, and in states, or the principles embodied in the first amendment to the US Constitution will be lost.”
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