SEIU 1021 Members on the right side of history as federal judge declares the HHS “conscience” rule unlawful
On October 30, SEIU 1021 nurses, healthcare workers, and our community allies spoke out to oppose a final rule change by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). This rule change would have destroyed healthcare workers’ “duty to care” by allowing religious objections to care that will impact LGBTQI patients, women’s healthcare, and more.
On November 6, a federal judge in New York declared the rule unconstitutional, declaring that the rule was, “shot through with glaring legal defects.” A decision from the case heard in federal court in San Francisco is still pending.
“Religiously observant healthcare workers learn, as the adults we are, how to navigate our choices of work, taking into account the realities of patient needs and own beliefs. It is incumbent on us to make job decisions that would never result in our denying a patient care. It is patients who need protections and a guarantee that they will be treated with dignity, and will have access to quality care, care as excellent and thorough as the next person,” said SEIU 1021 Mary Magee, RN.
Joining SEIU 1021 members in opposing this rule were members of the Committee of Interns and Residents (SEIU), SEIU Nurse Alliance of California, faith leaders including Rev. Claire Bohman and Fresh “Lev” White, and Chief of Staff Dan Bernal from Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco office.
While this is a major victory for patients and health care workers alike, SEIU 1021 members remain committed to defending equal access to health care for everyone, no matter who they are or what they believe.
“Just as people with HIV were demonized in the 1980s, the federal government is again encouraging the unethical and inhumane treatment of patients and justifying it as ‘religious freedom.’ But healthcare providers, especially here in San Francisco, are committed to fighting for our patients and our profession,” said SEIU 1021 member Sasha Cuttler, a Registered Nurse at San Francisco General Hospital.
Statement of support from Speaker Pelosi: https://www.dropbox.com/s/960wbogcjud5g8g/2019-10-30%20Pelosi%20SEIU%20Hate%20Has%20No%20Place%20in%20Healthcare.pdf?dl=0