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Statement by Amanda Skinner, President & CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England:

“Today, Judge Paul Englemayer of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York blocked another cruel and dangerous attempt by the Trump-Pence administration to deny people the human right to health care. The federal court struck down Trump’s so-called ‘conscience rule,’ which would have allowed health care providers to deny treatment or medical information to patients based on their personal beliefs. This rule would have put the beliefs of health care workers over the health and safety of their patients and put lives at risk.

“Every person deserves compassionate, high-quality care and access to accurate information, regardless of a provider’s personal beliefs. If enacted, the broad language of this rule would have set a dangerous precedent by undermining longstanding protections for patients and widening existing barriers to accessing care, especially for women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. This ‘conscience rule’ would have reinforced our society’s most harmful and pervasive prejudices and denied people access to routine and life-saving health care.

“This is just the latest in a series of attacks meant to vilify our most vulnerable communities. From forcing Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health care providers out of the federal Title X family planning program to the administration’s ongoing efforts to strip away the civil rights protections of the Affordable Care Act, Trump’s ‘conscience rule’ was yet another unlawful plan to prevent people from accessing to the care they need and deserve.

“There is no place for discrimination anywhere—especially in our health care. We applaud the U.S. District Court’s opinion to deny the Trump-Pence administration’s disgusting attempt to restrict access to health care and promote a toxic culture of fear and hate. This is a major victory for patients—but we can’t stop fighting. Planned Parenthood of Southern New England will continue to fight back against cruel, unjust rules and policies and work to protect our patients’ fundamental right to health care.”