HHS Rules! Another Religious Liberty Fix from Team Trump

May 26, 2020

James Shupe is a biological man who was the first legally recognized nonbinary person in America. Yet he now says it "was all a sham."

Sydney Wright was a healthy high school girl when she began to get hormone treatments to try to live as a man. Now she regrets walking down that road, and the years that it stole from her.

Walt Heyer is a man who lived as a woman for nearly a decade until coming to regret it. He now has a ministry helping others seeking to escape the devastation of the "gender identity" ideology and related treatments.

What these different individuals have in common is that they regret obtaining the very treatments that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the Obama administration wanted to force doctors to provide to patients. Fortunately, President Trump is about to fix this injustice.

In 2016, under the Obama administration, HHS issued regulations on Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act defining "sex" in the context of "sex discrimination" to incorporate "gender identity" and "the termination of pregnancy". Health care institutions sued, contending that the heavy hand of government was violating their religious freedom and mandating procedures they couldn't in good conscience perform, and thus threatening their ability to operate. Understanding that HHS had exceeded its authority, a federal judge issued an injunction to prevent the Obama administration rule from taking effect.

Now, President Trump plans to clean up this mess, and protect religious freedom, for our caregiving institutions nationwide. As part of President Trump's pro-religious freedom pivot from his predecessor's disastrous policies, HHS is about to finalize a rule it proposed last year protecting the convictions and consciences of those in the medical community who want to be faithful to their religious beliefs and a biological understanding of sex. This new rule will ensure that medical providers are not compelled to violate their consciences, and it should be finalized without delay.

President Trump's proposed rule is also pro-life and will ensure that the pro-life convictions of medical professionals will be honored. The inclusion of "termination of pregnancy" in the Obama administration rule could be read to require the provision of, and coverage or referral for, abortion. This could then lead to federal financial assistance being conditioned on the promotion and performance of acts that devalue the sanctity of human life. Thus, removing this language is important to ensuring that federal laws protecting the right of healthcare workers not to provide or refer for abortion will be upheld.

The Trump administration and HHS should be commended for standing with science and religious liberty, and for ensuring that the medical community is free to focus on providing the best possible care to their patients.

The finalization of this rule is a high priority for religious freedom, and very important to protecting the faith of many throughout our country. It should be finalized promptly, so that those with long-running conscience and religious freedom concerns in this area can finally put them to rest.

Let President Trump know you support his rule by contacting the White House here.