ASAN Condemns New Religious Refusals of Care Rule

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ASAN condemns the Trump Administration’s new “Religious Refusals of Care Rule”, which allows hospitals and medical providers to refuse people care based on their religious or moral convictions.

This type of policy is a threat to disability rights. The disability community has continually struggled to get the health care services we need and deserve. We have battled inaccessible clinics, unwillingness to accommodate our needs, inaccurate beliefs about how our bodies should look and function, and prejudiced providers who decide who gets care and who doesn’t. This regulation could put up yet another barrier to getting what we need, as more and more services and supports for people with disabilities are provided by organizations with religious affiliations. Disabled people deserve health care that meets our diverse needs and accepts us as who we are, regardless of the religious or moral beliefs of our providers.

A core belief in the disability rights movement is that we have the right to choose what happens to our bodies. This extends to health decisions such as access to birth control and abortion, as well as access to resources for gender transition, such as hormone replacement therapy and gender confirmation surgery. These crucial services are especially targeted by the Religious Refusals of Care Rule, which allows medical providers to deny access to these types of care. Disabled women and transgender individuals already face many obstacles to accessing competent health care, and ASAN opposes any initiative that would deny us the right to choose what is best for our bodies. Medical professionals have a responsibility to provide care that meets the needs of all people. If they are unable to put their religious convictions aside to do so, then they should not be able to continue practicing medicine.

While the Religious Refusals of Care Rule could make it more difficult for individuals to access important health care resources, it’s important to note that this rule is only a regulation. That means the law itself has not changed – we still have the legal right to access health care that works for us, even if the Trump Administration doesn’t want to recognize this right. ASAN is committed to ensuring that all people have equal access to quality, affordable health care, no matter what. We will continue to work to make sure everyone can get the care they need.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people. ASAN was created to serve as a national grassroots disability rights organization for the autistic community run by and for autistic Americans, advocating for systems change and ensuring that the voices of autistic people are heard in policy debates and the halls of power. Our staff work to educate communities, support self-advocacy in all its forms, and improve public perceptions of autism. ASAN’s members and supporters include autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators, and friends.