On Thursday, May 2, the Trump administration announced the finalization of new rules in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that further protect the conscience rights of pro-life health care professionals.
President Donald Trump talked about the new regulations from the White House Rose Garden during the National Day of Prayer.
The president said: “Just today, we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities.”
“Together, we are building a culture that cherishes the dignity and worth of human life. Every child—born and unborn—is a sacred gift from God,” he further continued.
The new regulations, issued by HHS Secretary Alex Azar, will ensure no health care worker (doctor, nurse, or medical student) is forced to carry out services such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide that violate their religious or moral beliefs.
The proposed conscience rule was submitted in January 2018 alongside the Department of Health and Human Services creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its civil rights office.
Though there have been laws stipulated to protect the conscience rights of healthcare workers in the last 30 years, however, these laws have been violated due to the lack of regulations and awareness, LifeNews.com reported. Moreover, healthcare personnel who refuse to participate in abortion are vulnerable to discrimination. As a result of discrimination, these healthcare personnel have been forced to leave their profession.
For example, Cathy DeCarlo, a pro-life New York nurse, was demanded by her employer to either participate in abortion or lose her job. Ultimately, DeCarlo was forced to assist the physician in killing the baby—an act that violates her Catholic faith.
“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), said in a statement. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in health care, it’s the law.”
“Laws prohibiting government-funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law,” Severino added.
The 440-page-long new regulations, which provide the regulatory backbone to the First Amendment conscience rights of medical professionals in America, indicate what recourse the victims of discrimination can turn to and what penalties the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights may enforce for violations.
It goes without saying that the new rules are favored by anti-abortion groups and Christian conservatives.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told LifeNews.com: “On this National Day of Prayer, many healthcare providers have an answer to their prayers. President Trump announced today new regulations that will enforce over two-dozen federal laws so that healthcare professionals won’t be forced to choose between their moral beliefs and their desire to help patients.”
“President Trump’s efforts reflect a long history in American constitutional law about the morality of conscience rights. Unfortunately, the previous administration had little concern for protecting the conscience rights of doctors, nurses, and residents,” Perkins added.
“Protecting the right of all healthcare providers to make professional judgments based on moral convictions and ethical standards is foundational to federal law and is necessary to ensure that access to healthcare is not diminished, which would occur if they were forced out of their jobs because of their ethical stances.”
From the White House Rose Garden this morning, President @realDonaldTrump joined faith leaders—including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway—in prayer, recognizing religious freedom as the bedrock of American life.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 2, 2019
Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow at The Catholic Association, is of the same opinion as Perkins.
McGuire said: “No healthcare worker should ever be forced to choose between their practice or their faith. That principle is enshrined in countless laws and regulations but has been violated for far too long. Today’s regulation restates our nation’s commitment to conscience rights in the healthcare industry.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony List, said: “These new regulations go even further to put teeth back in the law after years of nonenforcement by the Obama administration. Abortion is not health care and no health care professional should ever be forced to participate in the destruction of human life.”
Meanwhile, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias thanked President Trump and his administration “for enforcing these laws and protecting health care workers who object to participating in the taking of innocent human life.”
“We applaud the president for following through on another promise,” Tobias further added.
Thank you to President Trump and his administration for protecting conscience, religious freedom, and the lives of innocent unborn babies.
Watch the video:
Today, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump celebrated the National Day of Prayer in the Rose Garden!
Posted by The White House on Thursday, May 2, 2019