Politics

Protesters demand HHS chief approve new rules banning shock therapy at Mass. facility

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar testifies during the House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on "Examining the Policies and Priorities of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services," on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/AP
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Dozens of protesters — many in wheelchairs — gathered outside the Indianapolis home of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar demanding he approve new rules banning shock therapy at a Massachusetts rehabilitation facility.

Indianapolis police were on the scene of the protest Sunday morning directing traffic.

An advocacy group for disabled people called ADAPT says in a news release it organized the demonstration to protest rules that have awaited HHS approval for more than two years that would ban shock therapy at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Mass.

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An HHS spokeswoman says the protesters refused to leave private property when asked by police. She says they didn’t have a permit to protest there.

Police say Azar wasn’t home. He’s a former executive for Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly Co.