HHS announces rule that 'protects' groups and individuals from performing abortions

HHS announces rule that 'protects' groups and individuals from performing abortions

The final rule regarding health care - issued by the Department of Health and Human Services - broadly defines, or in some cases redefines, key terms in the law such as discrimination, referrals and what it means to assist in a procedure.

The enforcement of those new laws will fall to HHS' Office of Civil Rights.

The new rule, instituted by the Department of Health and Human Services, will prohibit regulations created to punish doctors who decline to perform abortions, assisted suicides, and sterilizations, among other procedures.

Caption: President Trump speaks Thursday during a National Day of Prayer event in the Rose Garden of the White House.

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Fenway Health were among the organizations Thursday expressing concern that the rule would lead to discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The rule was first proposed at the start of 2018; and in March 2019, a broad coalition of organizations submitted 200,000 public comments in opposition to it.

"Our mission and our ethical standards in health care are rooted in and inseparable from the Catholic Church's teachings about the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death", Keehan said in a statement.

As HHS prepared the final rule, the HHS' Office of Civil Rights website was revised to now include religious protections for healthcare workers that were not previously emphasized.

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A primary goal of the new regulation is to ensure that people and institutions in the medical field can not be discriminated against by the government or others because of beliefs that bar them from taking part in or providing abortion.

"The harmful, discriminatory rule the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued today is risky, unethical and repugnant to America's moms, who want health care providers to put patients first and ensure that all people get the health care they need". The rule will also help protect individuals who object to administering certain vaccines.

"(President Donald Trump's) latest harmful rule once again takes our country in entirely the wrong direction and makes it harder for people to get the care they need-this time by putting up ideological barriers for communities who already face major health care disparities", she said in a statement Thursday. The rule is especially unsafe for those already facing barriers to care, particularly LGBTQ people living in rural areas with few healthcare options and in states without existing health nondiscrimination protections.

Perkins said President Trump's efforts "reflect a long history in American constitutional law about the morality of conscience rights". The rule also addresses conscience protections involving so-called advance directives that detail a patient's wishes for care at the end of life.

ACLU Washington cautions that this new rule could be unsafe.

'Tonight we break bread together united by our love of God, and we renew our resolve to protect the sacred freedom of religion - all of us, ' he added. The administration urged medical companies and other "recipients of HHS funds to provide notice to individuals and entities about their right be free from coercion or discrimination on account of religious beliefs or moral convictions".

"We will fight with all our strength and everything that we have in our bodies to defeat anti-Semitism", the president said.

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