Three federal lawsuits have been filed to block Dubya’s parting shot at health care, which allows providers to withhold treatment in situations where they personally object to the care requested.
In three lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the states and groups sought an immediate court order preventing the regulation from going into effect Tuesday and a permanent decision voiding the rule. On the way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking political time bomb that is set to explode literally on the day of the president’s inaugural and blow apart women’s rights,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who filed one of the suits on behalf of his state, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island. “This midnight rule is a nightmare for hospitals and clinics, as well as women.”
Blumenthal’s lawsuit challenges the regulation on several grounds, charging that it is too vague and overbroad and conflicts with other federal laws and state laws. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a second suit on behalf of its affiliates, while the American Civil Liberties Union filed sued on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents many state and county health departments, among other providers.
Some doctors have refused to artificially inseminate lesbian patients; they would be legally protected from such actions under the new rules.