Biden Administration to Weaken Conscience Protections

Since Joe Biden became President, he has ordered his Administration to make it a priority to undo all the Trump-era regulations that protected the unborn, our children, our communities, and people of faith in all professions. From ignoring border security to pushing gender identity in every facet of society, the Biden administration has been wreaking havoc on our country from within. Their newest endeavor of destruction is forcing medical professionals with conscience objections to participate in abortion and other controversial procedures.

In 2017, Trump issued an executive order establishing the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative which elevated the voices of faith-based groups. Those groups recommended policies that would protect religious liberty, one of which protected the conscience rights of medical professionals. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) eventually strengthened the ability of nurses, doctors, and pharmacists to refuse services that violate their moral beliefs. In 2018, the HHS Office of Civil Rights set up a new division to assist providers of faith in reporting civil rights violations. It was widely successful in defending the religious liberty rights of those in the medical profession.

This year, in the wake of the Dobbs decision, the radical Biden administration is trying to rescind all conscience protections by regulation. The newest HHS rule to gut religious liberty recognizes that hospitals, doctors, and nurses have moral convictions, yet it goes on to say:

…patients also have autonomy, rights, and moral and religious convictions. And they have health needs, sometime[s] urgent ones. Our health care systems must effectively deliver services to all who need them in order to protect patients’ health and dignity.

Instead of maintaining the conscience protections in place, the Biden administration is attempting to pit providers against patients and equating a moral objection to abortion with a moral right to abort. The new regulations have been criticized for weakening the enforcement provisions for violations such as removing a provision that would have denied funding for hospitals that force medical providers to provide care that violates their consciences.

According to an article in Bloomberg Law, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty released a statement that said, “While the proposed revision to the Conscience Rule will need time to digest, I am troubled by its implications that desire for abortion and other procedures can override rights of conscience.”

In the rule proposal, the HHS said, “health care systems must effectively deliver services—including safe legal abortions—to all who need them in order to protect patients’ health and dignity.”

This new rule does not just cover participation in surgical abortions. Any controversial medical issues such as euthanasia, genital-mutilating surgeries, and hormone therapy for those with gender dysphoria, and prescribing drugs such as chemical abortion pills, will be forced on medical professionals who have religious objections. 

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra floated a trial balloon for his idea to declare a public health emergency regarding abortion access. If he is successful in doing so, the order could supersede state laws restricting abortion and release funds for women to travel across state lines to obtain abortions. These actions by HHS are aggressive and extreme. This is not what the American people want.

You can make your voice heard on the new conscience protection rule. HHS is taking public comments until March 6, 2023. Eagle Forum has made it easy for you to submit a comment. Even though we have created a sample comment for you to send, we encourage you to insert your own wording and change the subject line. HHS is required to read each comment submitted to them unless the wording is the same as another comment, so in order for them to see your specific submission, the language must be different.

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