November 11, 2019
Whitman-Walker is gratified that last week, two federal judges, in opposite parts of the country, issued separate rulings that struck down HHS’s rule that would encourage widespread discrimination against LGBTQ people, women needing reproductive health care, and other vulnerable and marginalized people. The rule, mischaracterized by HHS as “conscience protection,” would give anyone working in health care the right to deny needed care or any health-related service to anyone, even in an emergency, based on their personal beliefs or feelings. This could include not only doctors and nurses, but medical assistants, care navigators, ambulance drivers and EMTs, front desk staff, and individuals staffing the phone line. Hospitals, clinics, health care centers and other employers that require staff to adhere to the organization’s mission and professional ethics would be faced with termination of federal funding.
In a lengthy, carefully reasoned decision on November 6, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that the HHS rule was so riddled with legal defects that no part of it could survive. He vacated the rule, which means that it will not take effect anywhere in the country. (Previously, the rule had been slated to become effective on November 22.) The judge found that among many other defects, the rule went much further than the federal laws that HHS was claiming to interpret; that HHS disregarded the substantial harms to patient care that would likely result; that HHS had fabricated or mischaracterized evidence to try to support the rule; and that the agency exceeded its power under the Constitution by tying federal funding to conditions that are unrelated to the purposes of those funds.
The lawsuit in the New York federal court was brought by a large coalition of states and municipal governments. We are grateful and proud that the District of Columbia, the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia joined in the lawsuit.
The next day, November 7, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington State concluded that the rule was so defective that it should be struck down immediately – even before he issued his written decision. The judge observed that the rule was “discrimination by another name.”
Whitman-Walker is party to a separate lawsuit that is pending in federal court in San Francisco (the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California).
The federal judge in that case held a hearing last week in which he raised questions about many of the same problems that were noted in yesterday’s
decision by the New York federal judge. We are hopeful that the judge in our case will reach the same conclusions as the federal judges in New York
and Washington State. In the meantime, unless and until higher courts rules otherwise, last week’s rulings mean that the HHS rule will not take effect.
Whitman-Walker remains committed to welcoming care of the highest quality for everyone in our community, and we will continue to fight for our values,
and for our community, at every level.
Naseema Shafi, CEO
November 11, 2019
You might also be interested in
Enrolling in Insurance Coverage for 2020? We ca...
December 06, 2019
We're Moving into Liz | ¡Nos vamos a mudar... a...
October 14, 2019
Important Notice for Medicare Patients
October 14, 2019
Reflecting on the 11th Annual National Gay Men'...
September 27, 2019
Healing After Trauma with Pride and Community
June 12, 2019
An Open House Introduction to Gender Affirming ...
April 22, 2019
‘X’ Gender Markers Affirm Lives and Create Acce...
April 18, 2019
The Trump Administration’s Initiative to End th...
March 06, 2019
Our Open Letter to the Community
January 07, 2019
Our 40th Year in Review
October 14, 2018
Valerie Villalta, “To live exactly who you want...
October 07, 2018
More than 40 Years Later, What We’ve Learned & ...
September 30, 2018
Our Journeys to Whitman-Walker
September 23, 2018
“We Can See the Finish Line” ﹘ A Photo History ...
September 16, 2018
Elizabeth Taylor Medical Center, A Home of Dign...
September 09, 2018
Amelie Zurn, Embracing Feminist Health Practice...
September 02, 2018
“Together, Let’s Educate Ourselves to Live” - T...
August 26, 2018
Ellen Kahn, Finding Purpose & Community During ...
August 19, 2018
Antonio Hardy, Being a Resource to My Peers
August 12, 2018
Lesbian Services Program, Meeting the Health Ne...
August 05, 2018
Michael Shilby, Feeling Calm, Centered & Seen a...
July 29, 2018
1407 S Street, A Pillar of Hope
July 22, 2018
The Bill Austin Day Treatment Center
July 15, 2018
Whitman-Walker Health, We See You
July 08, 2018
Tony Burns, Learning and Living with HIV in Was...
July 01, 2018
Keeping My Community In Mind
June 29, 2018
New Transgender Women's Health Study Now Enrolling
June 26, 2018
Ahmed, Gaining Strength & Living Each Day Like ...
June 24, 2018
The Power of Mentorship and Thriving with HIV
June 17, 2018
Masterpiece Cake – What Did the Supreme Court D...
June 12, 2018
Joe Izzo, Re-Defining Safer Sex in the Age of H...
June 10, 2018
Derrick "Strawberry" Cox, Spreading Joy & Love ...
June 03, 2018
Lili Leonard, The Strength of Being a Lifelong ...
May 27, 2018
D. Magrini, A Washingtonian & What She Wishes S...
May 20, 2018
Winifred Quinn, Advocating for LGBTQ Seniors th...
May 13, 2018
Don Blanchon, Recognizing 12 Years of Servant L...
May 05, 2018
Adisa Bakare, A Helpful & Passionate “Leader of...
April 29, 2018
Randy Pumphrey, Amplifying the Memories of Long...
April 22, 2018
Bianca Rey, Advocating for Myself and My Commun...
April 15, 2018
Barbara Lewis, Empowering Women through Healthcare
April 08, 2018
Max Robinson, A Pioneer of Black Journalism
April 01, 2018
Gerard Tyler, Disco & Getting Friends Tested
March 25, 2018
Carl Corbin, Whitman-Walker Makes Me Feel Like ...
March 18, 2018
Joanne Sincero, Serving Empathy
March 11, 2018
Chris Straley, Understanding Us as People
March 04, 2018
Richshaad Ryan, Marking Each Birthday with an H...
February 25, 2018
Grayson & Christine, I See the Real You
February 17, 2018
Kermit Turner, Music Notes and the Many Faces o...
February 11, 2018
Madison Chambers, Growing & Educating with Real...
February 03, 2018
Jim Graham, An Influential Leader
January 27, 2018
Meet Dr. Mary Edwards “Walker”
January 20, 2018
Meet Walt Whitman
January 13, 2018
DC Is First in the Nation to Use ‘X’ Gender Mar...
July 19, 2017
Hoop’N for Care, Hoop’ N 4 HIV
July 10, 2017
Moving the Needle on Reproductive Justice and F...
April 17, 2017
A Major Step Forward for LGBTQ Civil Rights
April 13, 2017
Community Connection Series
March 24, 2017
Summit on Black Lives: Black America’s Response...
February 08, 2017
Get the latest Whitman-Walker Health community news delivered to your inbox!