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U.S. judge voids Trump-backed 'conscience' rule for healthcare workers

A federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday declared void a rule backed by the Trump administration that would make it easier for doctors and nurses to avoid performing abortions on religious or moral grounds.

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - A federal judge in Manhattan on Wednesday declared void a rule backed by the Trump administration that would make it easier for doctors and nurses to avoid performing abortions on religious or moral grounds.

The 147-page decision by U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer on the so-called "conscience" rule came in a lawsuit by more than 20 U.S. states and municipalities, which said enforcement could undermine their ability to provide effective healthcare without jeopardizing billions of dollars a year in aid.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

((jon.stempel@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6317; Reuters Messaging: jon.stempel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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