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American Atheists Calls for Ending Religious Denial of Care

Washington, D.C.—This week, American Atheists wrote in support of the Biden Administration’s proposal to rescind the Trump Administration’s dangerous denial of care rule. This regulation allows hospitals, doctors, nurses, orderlies, and even insurance companies to cite their personal religious beliefs in order to deny a patient care.

“Religion should never be a justification to refuse necessary medical care, and we hope that [the Biden Administration’s proposal] will help restore a much-needed focus on patient health and well-being, rather than a disproportionate focus on the beliefs of hospitals and providers,” wrote Alison Gill, Vice President for Legal and Policy at American Atheists.

The organization provided suggestions for various amendments to strengthen the Biden Administration’s final rule. These include rejecting outright the Trump Administration’s false framing of “federal conscience and nondiscrimination laws,” as well as clarifying any remaining enforcement provisions.

In comments submitted to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, Gill noted that denial of care has a disproportionate negative impact on vulnerable communities, including atheists and nonreligious people. She called for better data collection on the impact of health care discrimination on atheists and religious minorities.

Read American Atheists’ full comments here:

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