Director of Communications
January 19, 2018
Statement: APLA Health on Trump’s New Office for “Religious Freedoms”
This gives healthcare providers permission to discriminate, rather than serve individuals in need.
Yesterday the Trump Administration announced the establishment of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. The office fulfills a Trump campaign promise to protect healthcare providers who refuse to perform, accommodate, or assist with healthcare services on religious or moral grounds including transgender healthcare services, abortion and assisted suicide.
“This new office has nothing to do with conscience, freedom, civil rights or healthcare; but is about discrimination, pure and simple.” said Craig E. Thompson, Chief Executive Officer at APLA Health. “This opens the door to flagrant acts of discrimination against a broad range of individuals including LGBTQ people and their children, people living with and at risk of HIV, people who use drugs, women seeking abortion, and individuals seeking family planning, end of life care, and more. This gives healthcare providers permission to discriminate, rather than serve individuals in need.”
“APLA Health has seen this type of discrimination before when medical and dental providers refused to see or treat people living with HIV and AIDS,” Thompson continued. “Discrimination of any sort was outlawed many years ago and should not be tolerated or allowed a safe harbor. This office is an invitation to civil rights abuses of the sort that were litigated years ago and will likely end up in court once again.”