Federal Judge Voids Trump's 'Conscience Rule'

A federal judge is voiding the Trump Administration's "conscience rule" that allowed health-care providers to refuse to participate in procedures they disagreed with on religious or moral grounds. Under the rule that was set to take effect this month, a doctor could refuse to perform an abortion or other medical procedure if it’s against his/her religious beliefs.

Nearly two-dozen mostly Democratic states and municipalities brought the lawsuit challenging the rule as the Feds were threatening to withhold billions of dollars of funding from hospitals, clinics, universities and other healthcare providers that did not comply with the Trump directive.

In his 147-page decision., U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer said the "conscience rule" is unconstitutional. He noted, “Wherever the outermost line where persuasion gives way to coercion lies, the threat to pull all HHS funding here crosses it.” A government spokeswoman says the decision is being reviewed. 


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