Trump administration’s conscience rule blocked by judge

A federal judge has blocked a controversial rule from the Trump administration that would have allowed healthcare professionals to refuse to perform services that went against their beliefs.

The rule, which has been called the conscience rule, was finalized by HHS in May. It enabled doctors and other healthcare workers to refuse care for religious reasons, such as abortion services and other family planning services.

According to U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer, who issued his judgment Nov. 6, HHS overstepped its authority with the rule, NPR reported. The judgment stems from lawsuits against HHS, including by Planned Parenthood and others. Critics of the rule said it would lead to discrimination in the healthcare system. HHS did not comment on the ruling, citing the pending litigation.

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