HHS Issues Final Rule Encouraging Discrimination and Religious Refusal of Medical Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Family Equality Council strongly condemns a final rule issued today by the Trump Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which allows medical providers to refuse treatment and services on the basis of a provider’s personal religious beliefs. Providing permission to deny medical care hurts LGBTQ people and our families and directly contravenes the Department of Health and Human Service’s own declaration that it is the government’s “principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services.”

“The new rule sends a dangerous message to medical providers that they can put their personal beliefs ahead of the health of patients,” said Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality Council. “By issuing this rule, the Department of Health of Human Services is abdicating its responsibility to ensure that all Americans receive the life-saving medical care that they deserve, and choosing instead to create a license to discriminate in healthcare services.”

Anti-LGBTQ discrimination in health and human services doesn’t just hurt LGBTQ people, it hurts their children and families too. Approximately 20% of LGBTQ people are parents, and Family Equality Council has documented numerous instances of harm to children of LGBTQ-headed families when health providers are allowed to deny critical services.

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

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Media Contact:
Ed Harris, Chief Communications Officer, Family Equality Council
646-880-3005 x117  / eharris@familyequality.org