CHA News

Federal ‘Conscience’ Rule Delayed

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Yesterday, the federal Department of Health and Human Services announced it will delay by four months its expansion of protections for health workers. Referred to as the “conscience rule,” the regulation would protect health care workers who refuse to participate in services — such as abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide — that run counter to their religious beliefs or moral convictions.

However, several lawsuits filed after the rule’s announcement, including one filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, claim that the rule is discriminatory and unconstitutional. Oral arguments in the case are set for Oct. 30; the rule is scheduled to take effect Nov. 22.