San Francisco Sues to Overturn New Trump Rules and Force Doctors and Nurses to Do Abortions

National   Steven Ertelt   May 3, 2019   |   10:19AM    Washington, DC

The city of San Francisco has filed a lawsuit to overturn new pro-life regulations the Trump Administration put into place yesterday. The lawsuit could ultimately force doctors and nurses to kill babies in abortions or to refer women to abortion practitioners who will.

As LifeNews reported, President Donald Trump issued new rules that further protect doctors, nurses and medical professionals who don’t want to be forced to do abortions or refer for them. Trump announced new regulations through the Department of Health and Human Services that will more effectively enforce existing federal laws that protect the conscience rights of healthcare providers.

Despite current law that has protected conscience rights for over 30 years, the lack of regulations resulted in confusion and a lack of awareness within the healthcare community, leaving healthcare personnel vulnerable to discrimination and forcing them to drop their specialties at a time of healthcare scarcity.

The 440 pages of new regulations, issued by HHS Secretary Alex Azar, provide regulatory backbone to the First Amendment conscience rights of Americans working in the medical profession and will help ensure that no doctor or nurse will be be forced to violate their conscience while serving patients.

But today, just hours after those new regulations were promulgated, the city of San Francisco filed suit.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Northern California on Thursday, hours after President Donald Trump made the announcement. He argues the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services exceeded its statutory authority when it created the rule.

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The rule would require institutions that receive money from federal programs to certify that they comply with some 25 federal laws protecting conscience and religious rights.

Herrera said San Francisco could lose nearly $1 billion in federal funding for health care programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.

According to Herrera, the ability for women to kill their babies in abortions is more important than the right of medical professionals to opt out of aborting babies.

Although the Constitution and numerous federal laws provide robust protections for the conscience rights of medical professionals, these laws are being violated as doctors, nurses, and medical students are being compelled to participate in abortion. The regulations clarify what recourse is available to victims of discrimination under the law and what penalties the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Civil Rights may enforce for violations.

“This rule ensures that healthcare entities and professionals won’t be bullied out of the health care field because they decline to participate in actions that violate their conscience, including the taking of human life,” a statement from OCR Director Roger Severino said. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in health care, it’s the law.

“Laws prohibiting government funded discrimination against conscience and religious freedom will be enforced like every other civil rights law,” Severino explained.

Several leading pro-life groups applauded the Trump administration for the new rules.