A University of Denver professor attempted to sabotage Americans’ religious freedom this week under the guise of protecting women and minorities.
In an op-ed for The Hill, Joshua C. Wilson, associate professor of political science at the university, attacked the new Division of Conscience and Religious Freedom under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
President Donald Trump launched the division last week to protect medical workers and others who morally object to abortion. President George W. Bush first issued conscience protections for pro-life doctors and other medical workers, but President Barack Obama rescinded those protections and created a situation where they are pressured to participate in killing unborn babies.
Wilson argued that protecting people’s First Amendment religious freedoms and conscience rights is dangerous to women and other minority groups.
“Instead of protecting the rights of vulnerable populations against those who traditionally wield power, this new division stands to defend and exacerbate existing and historic inequalities, and possibly cause real harm to individuals,” he wrote.
Wilson emphasized that white, evangelical Christians are in positions of power in the government. He implied that though these Christians claim to be persecuted, they really are the persecutors.
Thinking in terms of political power, Christians are actually overrepresented in Congress. In the current congress, 91 percent of members identify as Christian — a proportion that has been relatively steady for decades. In spite of this, the Christian Right has, and still actively cultivates the notion that Christians are a persecuted, vulnerable minority requiring legal protection.
Later, referencing conscience protections involving abortion and assisted suicide, Wilson continued:
Given the centrality of the new Division protecting healthcare workers’ right to refuse medical services on religious grounds, civil rights groups such as the ACLU and Lambda Legal have raised the possibility of medical providers being defended for denying services to members of the LGBTQ community. These concerns are similar to those seen when wedding industry workers deny services for same-sex weddings — a refusal of service that the Supreme Court is currently reviewing — but instead of refusing to decorate a cake or take photos, the fear is that one can refuse to provide medical care, likely resulting in physical harm.
Wilson focused on LGBTQ individuals, but his arguments also apply to abortion, something he hinted at in his conclusion.
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“Instead of protecting an embattled and vulnerable minority, this new Division is positioned to expose women and the LGBTQ community to continued discrimination and the possibility of physical harm,” he wrote.
What his argument amounts to is frightening: Failing to protect religious freedom and conscience rights would mean medical workers could be forced to kill unborn babies in – more than 99 percent of cases – a completely elective procedure.
The physical harm that he referred to is little more than fear-mongering. Intentionally killing an unborn baby is never necessary to save a woman’s life. In very rare cases, such as ectopic pregnancies, unborn babies die in the process of saving the woman’s life, but the intention in those cases is not to kill but to save lives.
Wilson basically claimed that the new conscience protection division is a manifestation of white, evangelical Christian power and privilege. These are concepts that liberals often throw around to claim that they are victims and, as a result of being so, justified in exerting power over others. In this case, the power to force doctors and nurses to kill vulnerable, defenseless unborn babies – or lose their livelihood.