May 02, 2019
You'd have to look long and hard to find a more universally despised idea than Obama's HHS mandate. In one of the most clarifying moments of his presidency, the order went out: everyone, regardless of their beliefs, would become unwilling partners in the president's culture of death. If your employer performs abortion, you'll participate. If your business sells contraception or pregnancy-ending drugs, you will too. And if you're an employer, church, monastery, or school, you'll cover both -- even if you morally oppose it.
The outcry was swift. If women have a "choice," then nurses, doctors, and health care workers should too. Regardless of what Americans think about abortion, only the true extremists ever thought people should be forced to participate in them. Before Donald Trump, those extremists were in charge of the government. Now, thankfully, that's all changed -- along with the government's approach to conscience rights.
Today, after a long journey through the rule process, President Trump is finally closing the chapter on one of the worst assaults on religious liberty in a generation. This morning, on the National Day of Prayer, one of America's prayers was answered. A policy protecting "physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students and faith-based charities" officially took effect, giving teeth to more than two dozen laws. No one in the health care industry should have to choose between helping patients and their moral beliefs.
"Together," President Trump told us at a gathering in the Rose Garden, "we are building a culture that cherishes the dignity and worth of human life." As HHS's Roger Severino has said, "Never forget that religious freedom is a primary freedom, that it is a civil right that deserves enforcement and respect." Today is another example of this president keeping his promises. And not just any promise, but his sworn oath to the American people. Our deepest thanks to an administration who is not wavering in its determination to protect our most sacred property -- conscience.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.