According to the HHS’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR), a new proposed rule will enforce 25 existing statutory conscience protections for Americans involved in HHS-funded programs which protect people from being coerced into participating in activities that violate their consciences, such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide.
“Americans of faith should feel at home in our health system, not discriminated against, and states should have the right to take reasonable steps in overseeing their Medicaid programs and being good stewards of public funds,” said Acting HHS Secretary Eric D. Hargan when the rule was unveiled last month.
Specifically, the rule allows health care providers to refuse to participate in these services based on moral objections or religious beliefs. It also gives them the right to file a complaint under the Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Protection Statutes if they believe that they experienced discrimination because they:
1. Objected to, participated in, or refused to participate in specific medical procedures, including abortion and sterilization, and related training and research activities
2. Were coerced into performing procedures that are against your religious or moral beliefs
3. Refused to provide health care items or services for the purpose of causing, or assisting in causing, the death of an individual, such as by assisted suicide or euthanasia
“America’s doctors and nurses are dedicated to saving lives and should not be bullied out of the practice of medicine simply because they object to performing abortions against their conscience,” said OCR Director Roger Severino.
“Conscience protection is a civil right guaranteed by laws that too often haven’t been enforced. Today’s proposed rule will provide our new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division with enforcement tools that will make sure our conscience laws are not empty words on paper, but guarantees of justice to victims of unlawful discrimination.”
Before the department can adopt this new rule, however, it has to be open for public review and comment for a certain period of time.
This public comment period is now open, says Marjorie Danenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (SBA).
It’s not surprising that the pro-abortion side is “coming out in force” against the rule, Dannenfelser writes, which is why it’s so important for the pro-Life movement to mobilize and act quickly to match and exceed their comments.
For the convenience of the pro-life community, SBA has prepared a form which can be used to submit your comment about this important new Rule.
Don’t hesitate! Fill out the form today!
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