WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council today applauded the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for announcing the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). HHS announced that the division “will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement:
“Religious liberty isn't found in political proclamations, but in the policies they inspire. Today is another moment in which President Trump’s promises are becoming a reality. The formation of a new HHS division devoted to enforcing civil rights and conscience laws demonstrates that we have a president committed to the Constitution and the values it protects.
“Under President Obama, the federal government failed to enforce federal laws in place to ensure hard working Americans aren’t unfairly punished by the government for simply seeking to live their lives according to their beliefs. This is a freedom that has been a fundamental part of our society since the beginning of our nation and is cemented in federal law.
“Healthcare providers and others protected under federal conscience laws should be greatly encouraged that HHS will address any government actions taken against those who have objections to participating in an abortion or purchasing health insurance that includes abortion. Americans should not be forced to choose between their faith and their desire to help patients.
"As President Trump continues to follow through on his promises on these core issues, he will continue to have the support of social conservatives on his policy initiatives,” concluded Perkins.