Trump administration plans new rule protecting health workers who discriminate against transgender patients

The Department of Health & Human Services has proposed a new rule that would empower its office of civil rights to protect health workers who object to providing care to transgender people, or to performing abortions, on moral grounds, which the Trump White House is considering.

Roger Severino, the head of the HHS civil rights division, previously spoke out against the provision of transition treatments to transgender patients, including by writing, in a 2016 Heritage Foundation report cited by Politico, “Many involved in providing medical care and those enrolled in health insurance plans have serious objections to participating in or paying for sex-reassignment surgeries or gender transitions.”

“This is the use of religion to hurt people because you disapprove of who they are,” Harper Jean Tobin of the National Center for Transgender Equality told Politico. “Any rule that grants a license to discriminate would be a disgrace and a mockery of the principal of religious freedom we all cherish.”

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