Religious freedom is under attack in the medical community as abortion activists try to force health care workers to help abort unborn babies.
But many are fighting back to defend their faith, their oaths, their livelihood and the lives of their most vulnerable patients.
Dr. Regina Frost, a New York OB-GYN, recently wrote a column for The Federalist describing how her state leaders, the abortion chain Planned Parenthood and others are fighting against her religious freedom via a lawsuit challenging a new Trump administration rule that protects medical professionals’ conscience rights.
“If New York and Planned Parenthood succeed in blocking conscience protections for medical professionals, I may be forced to either violate my conscience or leave the medical profession,” Frost wrote.
Frost said she became an OB-GYN because her faith calls her “to treat women with dignity and compassion.”
As an OB-GYN, I am present during the most intimate moments in the life of a mother, father, and child. I have the privilege of placing children into the arms of their mothers for the very first time. I also have to deliver the life-altering news of infertility and guide mothers and fathers through the tragedy of a lost pregnancy.
This work cannot be done impersonally. I cannot leave my humanity at the door. I give all my patients the degree of care that I would a close friend or loved one.
Laws technically have protected conscience rights for more than 30 years, but the lack of regulations has resulted in confusion within the healthcare community, leaving healthcare personnel vulnerable to discrimination.
Frost said the new HHS regulations give teeth to the conscience protection laws that already are in place. They 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.
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Without them, “religious doctors and nurses across the country are at greater risk of being forced to perform procedures that violate our core beliefs,” Frost warned.
“I cannot take the life of a child in one room and guide another child into this world in the next. Nor can I care for one elderly woman while helping another end her life. That would not only undermine my most deeply held religious beliefs and my medical judgment, but also the oath I took as a medical professional,” she continued.
Though Frost has not been forced to help with an abortion or assisted suicide, others have. HHS is helping a Vermont nurse who said her employer forced her into helping abort an unborn baby even though the hospital knew she objected. The nurse said a doctor tricked her into helping end the baby’s life by telling her it was a miscarriage.
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.
In addition, in November, a group of pro-abortion Democrats in Congress introduced a bill to eliminate the conscience protection rule.
Religious freedom is at the heart of protecting medical professionals who do not want to be forced to be involved in abortion, assisted suicide or other life-destroying practices.
“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.