The Trump administration’s Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) is facing two separate lawsuits just filed by the ACLU and by Planned Parenthood. The filings seek to strike down a new policy that would give people of faith special religious rights to discriminate, especially against LGBT people and women.
The new policy, slated to go into effect July 22, would provide “conscience protections” to health care workers and professionals. Those protections would allow, say, a doctor to not perform an abortion, even to save the life of a mother. They would allow, for example, a physician or nurse practitioner to reject a gay man on the grounds his very being violates their religious beliefs.
Courthouse News’ Adam Klasfeld posted a portion of the lawsuit which says the Refusal of Care Rule would “allow almost any health care provider – including hospitals or individual workers in the health care setting … to refuse to provide, assist with, or refer for virtually any health service, based solely on a personal objection.”
The rule would also make it legal to withhold information from patients, and without telling them.
New: @PPFA and the @ACLU filed separate lawsuits in SDNY suing @HHSGov for issuing a rule that “would allow almost any health care provider” to deny “virtually any health service” — or withhold info on health care options — based on personal objections alone. @CourthouseNews pic.twitter.com/xVrTAjy1oy
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) June 11, 2019
The new HHS rule is merely the extension of a Trump administration plan to decimate the rights of women and minorities, under the guise of religious freedom. It is being enacted by Roger Severino (photo), a far right wing religious extremist who now heads HHS’s Office for Civil Rights.
News about the new rule first leaked in April.
“Patients want doctors who match their values,” Severino said, defending the proposed rule weeks later.
Severino once served as the CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, a far right wing religious legal organization. He also worked for The Heritage Foundation, and for the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. The Human Rights Campaign has called him a “radical anti-LGBTQ activist.”
In early 2018 Severino created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, in order to prioritize supposed cases of anti-religious discrimination among medical professionals.
“Severino is a defender of the discredited practice of conversion therapy, argued transgender service members ‘dishonors’ the military, and insisted that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is ‘based not on any sort of hatred but, in fact, out of love,'” GLAAD said in a statement at the time.
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Trump Chillingly Tells Students’ Group the Constitution Gives Him ‘The Right to Do Whatever I Want as President’
Maybe the students attending Turning Point USA’s Teen Action Summit weren’t paying attention in whatever civics or history classes they recently took, but President Donald Trump on Tuesday went unchallenged when he told attendees the U.S. Constitution gives him unlimited power.
“Then I have an Article Two, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president,” Trump said.
Article Two, which defines the executive branch, including outlining impeachment, does not in any manner suggest the President has unlimited powers or the right to do whatever he wants.
Here’s President Trump making this chilling and fascistic claim in Washington, D.C. earlier today:
TRUMP: “Then I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.”
(Article 2 does not in fact empower the president to do whatever they want.) pic.twitter.com/qIFP1AbHw6
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 23, 2019
‘The Face of Evil’: Fascism Expert Warns ‘We Are Facing an Emergency’ After Trump’s ‘Send Her Back’ Rally
A fascism expert says America is facing an “emergency” after witnessing President Donald Trump’s “send her back” campaign re-election rally Wednesday night.
“I am not easily shocked,” Professor Stanley wrote. “But we are facing an emergency. Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this. This is the face of evil.”
I am not easily shocked. But we are facing an emergency. Journalists must not get away with sugar coating this. This is the face of evil. https://t.co/XD0OAHvZao
— Jason Stanley (@jasonintrator) July 18, 2019
Wednesday night in North Carolina Trump continued his assault on the four progressive Democratic Congresswomen, who are also women of color, after “inviting” them to leave the country.
Trump’s supporters erupted into a raucous, hostile chant of “send her back, send her back.”
Newsweek notes Trump called the four Democratic lawmakers, “hate-filled extremists.”
After the attack, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who appears to be Trump’s number one target, tweeted lines from a poem by American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. That tweet went viral, massively surpassing Trump’s tweets attacking her.
Trump to Turn DC’s Annual Nonpartisan July 4 Celebration Into Event ‘Centered on Him and His Supporters’: Report
Since he became President, Donald Trump has been trying to transform America into a nation united under Trumpism. His attempt to hold a military parade similar to those in dictatorships like North Korea failed, after cost projections skyrocketed and his military advisors did their best to stonewall.
But now the President has found a way to “Make America Great Again,” by turning a decades-old annual nonpartisan Fourth of July celebration of America and American history into a thinly-veiled campaign rally that would be, as The Washington Post reports, “a grand patriotic display centered on him and his supporters.”
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to flood the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the event that the president – it is now official – will co-opt and commandeer.
Citing Washington, D.C. city officials and U.S. Park Police, the Post reports “President Trump plans to address the nation from the Lincoln Memorial on July 4 as part of an overhauled celebration of the nation’s Independence Day.”
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who opposes President Trump taking over the celebration and using it as a political event, says her “great hope would be that he recognizes that the event is a unifying event that celebrates the birthday of our nation.”
If there were any doubt that President Trump won’t politicize the July 4 event, here’s what he had to say on July 1, 2017, speaking at a “Celebrate Freedom” concert in Washington, D.C.
“In America we don’t worship government, we worship God,” Trump told attendees, who then broke out into chants of “USA! USA! USA!” just as they do at his campaign rallies.
“I remind you that we’re going to start saying, ‘Merry Christmas,’ again,” he added.
“I also want to speak to all of the people in our faith community who are here with us tonight,” Trump continued, adding, “We don’t want to see God forced out of our public square, driven out of our schools, or pushed out of our civic life. We want to see prayers before football games if they want to give prayers,” he said at the event celebrating America’s Independence.
He went on to brag about fulfilling his “campaign pledge to stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights,” literally applauding himself.
And here is Trump, just two weeks before the 2016 election, saying, “Imagine what or country could accomplish if we started to work together as one people, under one God, saluting one American flag,” a sentiment he has shared repeatedly since.
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