Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical workers soon may be forced to help abort unborn babies or lose their jobs as pro-abortion politicians work to get rid of conscience protection rights.
Last year, the Biden administration dropped a lawsuit against a hospital accused of tricking a pro-life nurse into aborting an unborn baby. That decision was only a foreshadowing of things to come.
Now, Joe Biden’s HHS department released a proposed rule that reinterprets federal law to prohibit discrimination based on the basis of “termination of pregnancy”—an action that could force physicians and hospitals to perform abortions and employers to cover abortions in their health insurance plans. Such a rule would be in direct violation of Title IX that explicitly says it cannot be used to require people to provide or pay for any service related to abortions.
Earlier this year, Christian medical leaders raised alarm a potential new pro-abortion mandate from the Biden administration that could shut down Christian health care throughout the U.S. The new HHS rule would revoke a Trump administration rule that protected pro-life medical workers from being forced to kill unborn babies in elective abortions.
Responding to the news, pro-life leaders criticized the Biden administration for wanting to force hardworking Americans to choose between exercising their beliefs and being able to feed their families.
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Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Bowman told LifeNews: “Doctors should never be forced to perform a controversial and often medically dangerous procedure that goes against their best judgment, their conscience, or their religious beliefs. President Biden’s administration is grossly overreaching its authority and in so doing, putting children’s psychological and physical health in danger.”
He added: “This harmful new rule could force physicians to perform abortions or controversial procedures that seek to alter a person’s biological sex and could force employers to pay for those procedures in their health insurance plans. This rule would further roll back protections for children and the unborn, and is an extreme violation of doctors’ and employers’ constitutional rights to conduct their work in a manner that is consistent with their religious beliefs and convictions.”
The rule that HHS wants to remove protected doctors, nurses and other health care workers from being forced to provide abortions and other medical procedures that violate their religious and ethical beliefs. Issued by the Trump administration, the rule added weight to conscience protection laws by allowing the federal government to revoke taxpayer funding from hospitals, universities and other healthcare providers that violate their employees’ conscience rights. However, abortion groups and Democrat leaders sued the Trump administration, and a federal judge blocked the rule.
Jacqueline Ayers, the senior vice president of policy, organizing and campaigns for Planned Parenthood, told Politico that they are excited about the new Biden administration rule. Twisting the issue, she slammed conscience protections as “discriminatory.”
“As state politicians continue to strip people of their sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms, it’s imperative that the Biden-Harris administration revoke this discriminatory policy and help ensure people can access the health care and information they need when they need it,” Ayers said. “We look forward to seeing the details of the new rule and are excited about this step forward.”
Forcing doctors and nurses to abort unborn babies or lose their jobs is the real discrimination, and pro-life advocates are urging the president to withdraw his plan.
“This is an illegal and gross overreach of executive power, and we urge the administration to withdraw this harmful proposal immediately,” Bowman said.
Meanwhile, Christian medical leaders are preparing for more attacks on conscience rights in the future. This year, five major Catholic organizations established the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance to defend religious freedom and Catholic health care in the U.S.
As Wesley J. Smith, a lawyer, award-winning author and a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Center on Human Exceptionalism, wrote at First Things earlier this year:
The threats against religious freedom in the United States have become so acute that five major Catholic organizations have formed the Catholic Health Care Leadership Alliance (CHCLA), a nonprofit coalition dedicated to defending the right of Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, and other institutions—as well as Catholic doctors, nurses, and pharmacists—to provide care and treatment in accordance with the moral precepts of the Catholic Church. The primary mission of the CHCLA will be to act as a clearinghouse for threats to Catholic healthcare and coordinate an effective response through political and democratic engagement. The CHCLA will also work to evangelize, educate, and provide mutual support for patients and professionals.
Pro-life leaders feared President Joe Biden would work to dismantle religious freedom for pro-life medical workers after his administration dropped a lawsuit last year defending a pro-life nurse who allegedly was forced into aborting an unborn baby. The Vermont nurse said she was tricked into helping with an elective abortion even though the doctors knew her objections; she said they told her she would be helping with a miscarriage.
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