July 24, 2020

24 Attorneys General Sue HHS for Removing Abortion from Definition of "Sex Discrimination"

New York Attorney General Letitia James
Photo Credit: Matt Cohen / Flickr
24 Democratic state attorneys general led by New York Attorney General Letitia James have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration's recent decision to reverse a 2016 “anti-discrimination” rule that would have forced medical professionals to abort children and perform "gender transition" operations against their consciences.

The rule in question was implemented in May of 2016 by the Obama administration and redefined "sex discrimination" in the Affordable Care Act to include an individual's “internal sense of gender, which may be male, female, neither, or a combination of male and female,” as well as “termination of pregnancy.” 

A court injunction against the Obama-era rule was placed in December of 2016 because it conflicted with the religious freedoms of healthcare workers, and this ruling was upheld in 2019.

Just last month, however, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that they will “enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology.”

By reversing the rule, not only was the Trump administration altering a rule that was already found to be unlawful by federal courts, but it was preventing the conscience rights of workers from being taken away by future judges who could potentially reverse the current ruling.