Ahead of Friday's annual March for Life, pro-life Christians celebrated new federal protections for health care workers who decline to administer procedures such as abortion, sterilization, or euthanasia on religious or moral grounds.
But on Thursday, the agency announced a new division in its Office of Civil Rights (OCR) established to protect Americans from discrimination based on their religious beliefs. He continued, "The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR's new division will help make that vision a reality".
Trump administration officials portray their new effort as a way to protect health care providers from compromising their moral or religious convictions.
"I think it is right and good to give health care workers a freedom of conscience protection", she said.
The Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of its Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.
Jack Ende, president of the American College of Physicians, said the second-largest United States doctors group "would be particularly concerned if the new HHS division takes any actions that would result in denial of access to appropriate healthcare based on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or other personal characteristics".More news: Amazon boosts Prime fees for United States monthly subscribers
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"Religious freedom is our first freedom and I welcome the news that HHS is committed to protecting our precious freedom", continued Staver. Critics say they could also lead to discrimination for lesbian, gay, and transgender patients. Medical evidence, not religious dogma, should be deciding medical care. "Trump, Pence, and Trump's appointees have tried time and again to establish blatantly bigoted policies that harm transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and history will neither forget nor forgive this Administration's attacks on its own people".
"The state should not force people to go against their integrated view of humanity", said the Director of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS, Roger Severino, at a January 18 press conference.
"A society and citizenry that can live with its conscience is one that is not coerced by an employer or anyone within the government to disregard the framework of faith and the pricking of the human conscience or forced to engage in actions that violate the very core of their being", she said.
"This would be yet another attempt to let ideology dictate who is able to get the care they need", Murray said.
"For too long, too many health care practitioners have been bullied and discriminated against due to their religious beliefs and moral convictions, leading many of them to wonder what future they have in our medical system", Hargan told the audience.
"This is the use of religion to hurt people because you disapprove of who they are", said Harper Jean Tobin, policy director for the National Centre for Transgender Equality. "Ensuring that these providers can practice medicine and serve their communities consistent with their faith will ensure that individuals and organizations can continue to provide high-quality care for those living in poverty and most vulnerable", said Dr. Anthony Tersigni, President and CEO of Ascension. They are also the only ones licensed to provide those services and must do so without discrimination, she said.
Unsurprisingly, HHS did not respond to the outlet's repeated requests for comment.