NEW YORK (AP) - Nearly two dozen states and municipalities are suing the federal government to stop a new rule letting health care clinicians object to providing abortions and other services that conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court asks a judge to block a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services that is scheduled to take effect in July.
The department has said the rule requires hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive federal funding to certify compliance with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.
Most laws pertain to medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.
The suit is being brought by Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; the District of Columbia; Hawaii; Chicago, Cook County and the state of Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York City and state; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont; Virginia; and Wisconsin.
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The suit follows up on a comment letter issued by a coalition of states in March 2018 when the rule was first proposed, urging that the rule be withdrawn.