More Than 130,000 Advocates Speak Out Against HHS Rollback of Civil Rights

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The Center for Reproductive Rights and coalition partners collected more than 130,000 comments opposing a new HHS rule that rolls back protections for women and LGBTQI people
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(PRESS RELEASE) This week, the Center for Reproductive Rights, in partnership with a broad coalition of reproductive health and LGBTQI groups, submitted over 134,000 comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), condemning their proposed rule that attempts to roll back protections for women and LGBTQI people established in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The proposed rule, if adopted, would weaken enforcement of key civil rights protections advanced under the ACA’s Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557), which specifically prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex in health programs or in activities that receive federal funding.

“The public has spoken. Discrimination in the health care system will not be tolerated,” said Katherine Gillespie, Senior Federal Policy Counsel with the Center for Reproductive Rights. “This administration is proposing a dangerous attack on the rights of women, pregnant people and the LGBTQI community, instead of fully enforcing the protections of the ACA’s Health Care Rights Law. Health care is a human right and a civil right. 

The administration should work to ensure everyone is treated equally and with respect, not erode essential prohibitions against discrimination. The Center for Reproductive Rights stands alongside the entire civil rights community in fighting discrimination in the health care system.”

The proposed changes to the Health Care Rights Law were announced by HHS on May 24, 2019, and the 60-day public comment period ended yesterday, August 13.

The complete list of coalition partners fighting this move by HHS is as follows:

  • Center for Reproductive Rights
  • Center for American Progress
  • National Women's Law Center
  • National Center for Transgender Equality
  • In Our Own Voice: National Black Women's Reproductive Justice Agenda
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Lambda Legal
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America
  • National LGBTQ Task Force
  • CenterLink
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum
  • National Partnership for Women & Families
  • WHARR (Women's Health and Reproductive Rights)
  • FORGE PFLAG National
  • National Council of Jewish Women
  • National Health Law Program
  • Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
  • Raising Women's Voices for the Health Care We Need
  • TransChance Health
  • Center for Constitutional Rights
  • The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

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Kelly Krause: 917-637-3649; kkrause