Federal Judge Blocks Ban on Discrimination Based on Gender Identity or Pregnancy Termination

January 11, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System


​Claiming that it would violate a provider's religious freedom, a federal judge in Texas on December 31, 2016, filed a nationwide injunction against the nondiscrimination rule of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The order will prohibit the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the nondiscrimination rule under section 1557 of the ACA, which prohibited discrimination on the basis of gender identity or the termination of a pregnancy (See HRC Alerts, May 18, 2016). The judge said the rule would force insurance providers to "perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions, regardless of their contrary religious beliefs or medical judgment." As for clinicians, the judge said the rule "thwarts their independent medical judgment and will require burdensome changes to their health insurance plans."

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