California Attorney General Files FOIA Request Seeking Answers About Trump Administration’s Proposed Religious Conscience Rule

SACRAMENTO –  California Attorney General Xavier Becerra yesterday filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeking information about the Trump Administration’s new proposed rule, the so-called Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care, and new delegation of authority to create a new division within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The proposed rule, issued in January, would allow broad sweeping refusals of care based on religious or moral beliefs.

“No Californian should be denied care because of who they are, where they live, or what type of medical care they seek,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Trump Administration owes it to the public to be transparent about the mission, work and need for such a drastic shift in policy that permits discrimination. As Attorney General, I am committed to fighting for Californians’ rights and access to care. More importantly, I stand ready to take action if those changes violate our Constitution and state’s laws.”

The Attorney General’s Office is seeking information regarding the proposed rule, including the reasoning behind the imposition of the rule and creation of the new office. The FOIA request also seeks the evidence that HHS relied on in making its decision. The FOIA request encompasses all records and data relating to the 34 complaints that the OCR received and later used to justify the need for the new division. Read more…