Windy City Times
January 18, 2018
The Trump Administration is expected today to expand protections for health care workers who refuse to provide health services, including healthcare for transgender patients and abortions, for religious or moral reasons, according to The Williams Institute.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights ( HHS OCR ), which is charged with enforcing federal civil rights laws related to healthcare, is also expected to establish a new division at the agency dedicated to enforcing this policy.
The Human Rights Campaign notes that Politico reported that the White House is reviewing a proposed Department of Health and Human Services ( HHS ) regulation that would allow medical providers to refuse to perform abortions, treat transgender patients based on their gender identity, or provide any service if they claim a “moral” or religious objection.
In the United States, there are an estimated 1.55 million adults and youth identify as transgender, according to Williams Institute research.
While conservative groups praised the move, women’s groups, LGBT-rights groups and physician organizations expressed concern that such a policy would further discriminate against vulnerable populations and worsen inequities within healthcare.