A third federal judge has struck down the Trump administration’s rule permitting health care providers to refuse care that piques their religious beliefs — including services to LGBTQ people.
“When a rule is so saturated with error, as here, there is no point in trying to sever the problematic provisions,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California wrote in the ruling, issued Tuesday afternoon. “The whole rule must go.”
The so-called conscience protection rule would permit health care providers to opt-out of procedures to which they oppose on religious or moral grounds, even in cases of emergency or if their involvement in the processes is extraneous. Donald Trump’s administration, through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, issued the rule in May, and it was initially set to go into effect this Friday, although a New York federal judge’s ruling, published about two weeks ago, prevented that. A U.S. district judge in Washington State issued a similar decision the following day.