Democrat leaders want to force doctors and nurses to participate in abortions against their consciences under a new bill introduced Tuesday.
The legislation, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, of California, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, of Washington state, and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, of New Hampshire, would eliminate a new conscience protection rule for medical professionals that the Trump administration finalized earlier this year.
The rule protects the religious freedom and conscience rights of medical professionals who object to abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia. It allows taxpayer funding to be withheld from health care institutions that force medical professionals to help participate in these acts of killing.
However, Lee claimed that conscience protections allow doctors and nurses to discriminate against patients. Her bill would permanently block the rule from going into effect.
“Our bill will ensure that no one is denied the care they need based on a provider’s personal beliefs – because the only thing that should dictate patient care is what’s best for the patient,” she said in a statement.
Abortion and assisted suicide are not health care, though. They contradict the purpose of the medical profession by killing the patient, rather than providing care for them.
Pappas argued that adequate conscience protections already exist in the law.
“While conscience-based protections already exist in law, this extreme rule puts patients at risk,” Pappas said. “We must ensure a provider’s personal or religious beliefs do not compromise patient care.”
But this also is not the case, as became evident after a Vermont nurse said her employer forced her into helping abort an unborn baby even though it knew she objected. The Trump administration is fighting to help the nurse after she said a doctor tricked her into helping end the baby’s life by telling her it was a miscarriage.
The Trump administration said it is investigating several other conscience protection violations as well.
Though most Americans believe medical workers should not be forced to help with abortions, a court recently struck down the new conscience protection rule. Twenty states filed the lawsuit seeking to overturn the pro-life conscience protections, putting doctors and nurses at risk of being forced to do abortions or refer for them.
Murray praised the court ruling and insisted that their bill is needed to make it permanent.
“While courts have ruled with patients and health care rather than ideology and hate and halted President Trump’s harmful plan to support discrimination for now, people’s health care shouldn’t hang on a court decision,” she said in a statement. “We’re introducing this legislation to make sure that no matter who you are, your care is based on your medical needs and not someone else’s beliefs.”
Ironically, a number of groups that call themselves “pro-choice” support the legislation, including the ACLU, NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood.
As LifeNews reported, the new regulations, issued by Department of Health and Human Services 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 forced to violate their conscience while serving patients.
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 HHS Office of Civil Rights may enforce for violations.
The Trump administration said religious freedom is at the heart of protecting those medical professionals who do not want to be forced to be involved in abortion.
“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,” OCR Director Roger Severino said in a statement, previously. “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 said.