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Connecticut And New York Join Lawsuit Over Religious Exemption Rule

Carolyn Kaster
President Donald Trump arrives on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington in Feb.

Legal experts say 23 cities and states, including New York and Connecticut, have built a strong case against the Trump administration over a new rule that lets medical providers cite religious objections to refuse procedures. They say the rule is effective discrimination.

The lawsuit says the bill could allow medical providers to refuse to perform abortions and could curb access to health care for LGBTQ people.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong says the Trump administration panders to an anti-choice and homophobic fringe.

John Thomas, a law professor at Quinnipiac University, says he expects the lawsuit will prevail, and the rule will be overturned.

“I think it violates the First Amendment in that it’s an establishment of religious faith, it’s an overreach by the executive through this executive order, and it violates a lot of laws put into place to make sure we contemplate properly these kinds of provisions. It’s ethically, I think, scary to allow people who provide lifesaving treatment to make a decision based on whether they want to provide that service to that patient. But in addition, it conditions our individual rights on a variety of variables that we have no control over.”

Thomas expects the Trump administration will appeal the decision if the rule is overturned, and attempt to bring the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.