Whitman-Walker Joins Lawsuit Against the United States Department of Health and Human Services

Today, Whitman-Walker Health, together with Sarah Henn, our Chief Health Officer, and Randy Pumphrey, our Senior Director of Behavioral Health, joined a lawsuit against the United States Department of Health and Human Services, to challenge the “Protecting Statutory Consciousness Rights in Health Care” rule which HHS formally issued on May 21. We have joined the case with several others including: the County of Santa Clara, the Los Angeles LGBT Center; the Mazzoni Center; GLMA; Center on Halsted; a women’s health center in Seattle; two national organizations of psychiatrists and medical students; and several individual healthcare providers in the lawsuit. The Complaint has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. We and our fellow claimants maintain that the rule is unlawful and unconstitutional, and threatens enormous harm, and we are asking the court to overturn it.

Whitman-Walker stands for dignity, affirmation and respect in healthcare. We stand for providing the right level of care for our patients, as directed by the needs that they report to us. We stand for the evidence based and ethically driven guidelines that are the foundation of our work. The vague and far-reaching language of this rule left us with only one clear option, and that was to advocate for access to health care. This is not a new position for Whitman-Walker. This is, in fact, the kind of discrimination that led to our founding.


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