Biden HHS set to roll back health care conscience protections
The Biden administration aims to repeal a religious rule from Trump’s day that allows medical workers to oppose a service that is contrary to their faith.
The Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Fox News Digital on Wednesday that it is in the “regulation process” of proposing an end to the rule of conscience. The policy change is currently under scrutiny in the Office of Management and Budget and could be made public as early as next week, Politico first reported on Tuesday.
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U.S. President Joe Biden comments on the cross-party infrastructure bill on April 19, 2022 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Scott Eisen / Getty Images)
Former President Donald Trump announced this rule in 2018 that would make it easier for health care providers to refuse abortions, sex reassignment surgery and other medical services for religious or moral reasons. This provision, however, never went into effect after being blocked by a federal court in 2019.
Former President Donald Trump speaking at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, NJ, Wednesday, July 7, 2021 (AP Photo / Seth Wenig)
At the time of its adoption, HHS said the regulation protects healthcare professionals who object to abortion, giving fetal tissue vaccines, or referring patients to end-of-life care decisions for religious or moral reasons.
Federal law already protects the moral and religious rights of health care providers who work for federal fund recipients, but the ordinance would increase enforcement and oversight.
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The news of the impending recession sparked criticism from conservatives.
“No American should be forced to violate their ethical and religious beliefs,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Adviser Matt Bowman in a statement shared with Fox News Digital. “Doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers should enjoy the same constitutional protection, live and work freely in a way consistent with their faith. However, the rule proposed by the Biden administration would force healthcare workers to perform medical procedures that directly violate their religious beliefs or the risk of losing their jobs.
“This is an illegal and blatant overrun of the executive and we urge the administration to withdraw this malicious proposal immediately,” he said.
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LifeNews.com joked that “nothing says“ Catholic ”is anything like forcing Christian doctors to have abortions,” referring to President Biden’s Catholic faith.
Morgan Phillips and Kelly Laco of Fox News contributed to this report.