The Latest: San Francisco sues Trump over conscience rights

May 3, 2019
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President Donald Trump speaks during a National Day of Prayer event in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday May 2, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration’s “conscience rights” regulation (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

The city of San Francisco is suing the Trump administration over its new regulation allowing health care professionals to opt out of providing treatments they oppose.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Northern California on Thursday, hours after President Donald Trump made the announcement. He argues the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its statutory authority when it created the rule.

The rule would require institutions that receive money from federal programs to certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.

Herrera said San Francisco could lose nearly $1 billion in federal funding for health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

He said the regulation prioritizes religious beliefs over patient care and undermines access to birth control, abortion, HIV treatment and other medical services.


12:05 p.m.

The Trump administration is putting the finishing touches on a regulation to protect the rights of clinicians who object to participating in abortions.

President Donald Trump made the announcement Thursday during a speech in the White House Rose Garden to mark the National Day of Prayer.

According to an earlier draft from the Department of Health and Human Services, the rule would require that hospitals, universities, clinics and other institutions that receive funding from federal programs certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights. Most of these laws address medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

The conscience rule is a priority for religious conservatives. Some critics fear the rule could become a pretext for denying medical care to LGBT people.