WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), joined 24 of her Senate colleagues in filing an amicus brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to support litigation that would overturn a Trump administration rule that threatens health care access for millions of Americans.
“The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) impermissibly sought to override Congress’s policymaking decisions and prioritize the Administration’s policy objectives over those established by Congress,” wrote the Senators. “The rule’s expansive and vague definitions threaten to embolden a wide range of objectors to deny or block reproductive healthcare or care to LGBTQ individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
The full brief can be found here.
BACKGROUND: The case challenges a rule finalized in May 2019 that dramatically expands the scope of existing federal refusal statutes, and makes it easier for health care providers to refuse care, services, and even information to patients on the basis of moral or religious objections. If implemented, the rule would sanction discrimination in health care and undermine access for those who already face systemic barriers to care, including women, LGBTQ patients, people of color, people living with disabilities, individuals in rural areas, and others.
The brief was also signed by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Angus King (ME), Ed Markey (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), as well as 133 Democratic members from the House of Representatives, led by Reps. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Diana DeGette (D-CO), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Jerry Nadler (D-NY).