Colorado is among nearly two dozen states and municipalities suing the Trump administration to stop a new rule that allows health care clinicians to deny abortions and other services based on moral or religious beliefs.

“A patient’s access to quality, affordable health care should not be driven by the personal beliefs or the discriminatory practices of one individual or organization,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat from Boulder, said in a statement Tuesday.

“This refusal of care rule threatens to cause incredible mischief. It is wrong, unnecessary, and threatens to do real harm. Colorado providers should not be forced to choose between giving effective and efficient patient care or risking the loss of more than $6 billion in federal funds that they rely on to provide that care.”

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The lawsuit was filed earlier Tuesday in Manhattan federal court to block the Department of Health and Human Services rule, which is scheduled to take effect in July.

Hospitals, universities, clinics and other entities that receive federal funding would have to certify compliance with about 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.

Most laws pertain to medical procedures such as abortion, sterilization and assisted suicide.

Colorado is joined by Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin, as well as New York City, the District of Columbia, Chicago and Cook County in Illinois.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Contact Joey Bunch at or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Contact Joey Bunch at or follow him on Twitter @joeybunch.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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