San Francisco sues Trump administration over religious protections rule

San Francisco sues Trump administration over religious protections rule
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The city of San Francisco is suing the Trump administration over its new rule protecting religious providers when they object to providing certain types of care.

The lawsuit claims the administration’s rule will restrict access to contraception, abortion, HIV treatment and a host of other medical services.

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The suit was filed Thursday, just hours after the administration released the final rule.

The lawsuit seeks to have the new rule declared unconstitutional, as well as a court order preventing it from taking effect.

“At its core, this rule is about denying people medical care,” the city’s attorney Dennis Herrera said. “This administration is willing to sacrifice patients’ health and lives — particularly those of women, members of the LGBTQ community, and low-income families — to score right-wing political points.”

The rule finalizes broad rules to protect health workers and institutions from having to violate their religious or moral beliefs by participating in abortions, providing contraception, sterilization or other procedures.

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The rule requires the city to prioritize providers’ religious beliefs over the health and lives of women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people, and other medically and socially vulnerable populations, Herrera said.

If San Francisco refuses to comply, it risks losing nearly $1 billion in federal money.

The complaint alleges the rule is far broader than what Congress intended, and encourages discrimination.

The final rule “allows any entity involved in a patient’s care—from a hospital board of directors to the receptionist that schedules procedures—to use their personal beliefs to determine a patient’s access to care,” the complaint states. “This goes well beyond what was intended by Congress.”