New rule protects pro-life healthcare workers
by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/02/19, 03:31 pm
WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled protections for healthcare workers and providers with religious or moral objections to performing abortions or assisted suicide. The new rule protects individuals and healthcare providers from discrimination if they abstain from procedures that violate their conscience. It also exempts healthcare providers from the requirement to refer patients for abortions. “Just today we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities,” the president said in a speech in the White House Rose Garden to mark the National Day of Prayer. “They’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”
Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), noted that the rule strengthens enforcement mechanisms for existing federal legislation protecting Americans’ conscience rights. “This rule merely gives life to existing law,” he said. “So that doctors and nurses are no longer bullied out of the healthcare profession because they are pro-life.”
At the Trump administration’s request, Severino created the Office for Civil Rights within HHS in January 2018 to investigate conscience rights complaints. HHS said the civil rights office received more than 1,300 complaints in 2018 alleging discrimination due to religious or moral beliefs.
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