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BREAKING: Laxalt Refuses to Explain Anti-Choice Action For Third Time in Three Weeks

Today, The Nevada Independent reported that Republican gubernatorial candidate and attorney general Adam Laxalt has signed on to yet another anti-choice effort designed to block women from receiving basic reproductive health care. In a letter to the Trump Administration, Laxalt offered his support for proposed rules that would allow health care providers to refuse care based on religious objections, potentially endangering the life of the patient. This is the third story in three weeks about an extreme, anti-choice action Laxalt has taken on behalf of the state. In all three cases, Laxalt has refused to explain to Nevadans why he put his radical agenda over protecting Nevada women.

The Nevada Independent: Laxalt signs on to letter supporting “conscience protections” for health workers with religious objections
By Michelle Rindels
March 30, 2018

KEY POINTS

  • Republican gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Adam Laxalt has signed on to a letter supporting a new set of regulations that aims to protect health workers who don’t want to perform abortions, help transgender patients transition or take other actions because of religious or moral objections.

  • Laxalt joined 16 other attorneys general in signing the March 27 letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

  • The letter lauds the “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority” regulations, saying it’s important to return to obeying conscience protections enacted by Congress and restore the rule of law in Washington.

  • The letter praises the Trump administration’s plan to create a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within the health department’s Office for Civil Rights. The division would be responsible for enforcing the rights of conscientious objectors within the medical community.

  • But critics, including LGBT legal defense organization Lambda Legal, say the new division is “explicitly intended to facilitate refusals of medically necessary health care in the name of religion” and could lead to everything from life-endangerment to harassment.

  • “Religious liberty doesn’t include a right to be exempt from laws protecting our health or barring discrimination,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union. “Medical standards, not religious belief, should guide medical care. Denying patients health care is not liberty. Choosing your patients based on their gender or gender expression is not freedom. Should the administration choose to move forward to implement a discriminatory policy, we will see them in court.”

  • Laxalt’s office didn’t respond to a request for further comment about the letter.

  • The attorney general has been active in advocating for religious liberty policies, signing an amicus brief in August in favor of a Washington florist who objected on religious grounds to creating a custom arrangement for a same-sex wedding.

  • He’s also intervened in abortion matters, signing an amicus brief opposing the method most commonly used to carry out later, second-trimester abortions, and supporting pro-life crisis pregnancy centers against a California law requiring them to notify clients of abortion options.

Read the full story online here.

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