Nearly two dozen states and municipalities have sued the Trump administration in an effort to block the so-called "conscience rights" from going into effect this summer.
In two separate lawsuits filed in New York and California, the states and municipalities condemn the Department of Health and Human Services' new rule, announced earlier this month. The rule, which the DHHS is set to begin enforcing on July 22, would give individuals and businesses license to deny access to abortion, hormones, and other oft-politicized health care services if the provider claimed that it violated their religious belief or moral conviction.
"The federal government is giving health care providers free license to openly discriminate and refuse care to patients," said New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement, per Reuters.
The plaintiffs named in the two District Court cases (New York et al v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al, California v. Azar et al) include New York City; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Hawaii; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island, Vermont; Virginia; Wisconsin; and Cook County, Illinois.
"A war is being waged on access to health care across our country from Alabama to Texas to Washington, D.C., where once again the president and vice president are issuing illegal rules that use health care as a political weapon while risking American lives," said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in a statement, per The Los Angeles Times.