As the clock struck midnight, “Auld Lang Syne” rang out, and 2017 was ushered in, many of us breathed a sigh of relief to have 2016 behind us. But before we could make it into the new year, conservatives let us know they have no plans to leave their oppressive policies behind.
On Saturday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that doctors can refuse to treat transgender patients and people who’ve had abortions. Citing the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby decision, O’Connor argued that gender-based discrimination restrictions “impose a burden” on doctors exercising their religious freedom. Judge O’Connor tried to justify his decision by saying that individual doctors will not impact patients’ access to healthcare or coverage. But in reality, his verdict will severely limit healthcare options for two communities already experiencing restricted access to care.