Sources in President Donald Trump’s administration accused “swampy Republican appointees” of thwarting some of the president’s efforts to protect unborn babies and preserve religious freedom, Fox News reported this week.
The report adds evidence to concerns that pro-life leaders have expressed for months about government officials in the Office of General Counsel.
While Trump made huge progress for life, the three sources suggested that even more could have been done if the Office of General Counsel had been more cooperative, according to the report. These things include investigating a whistleblower’s accusations that Planned Parenthood violated HIPAA and sold aborted baby body parts and supporting conscience rules that protect pro-life medical workers.
“President Trump got more pro-life and religious liberty wins than other Republican presidents, and I was honored to fight on his team,” a source who used to work in the Trump administration told Fox News. “But we could have done even more if swampy Republican appointees weren’t constantly pushing back.”
One individual identified as the possible root of the problem was Aaron Schuham, an Office of General Counsel attorney who oversees the Office of Civil Rights under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
According to the report, Schuham used to work for Americans United for Separation of Church and State and also served as an attorney under pro-abortion President Barack Obama’s administration.
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“His and his deputy’s former employer, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, are both liberal entities that have opposed abortion restrictions,” the investigation found.
Americans United for the Separation of Church and State supports taxpayer funding for abortions and opposes conscience protection laws for pro-life medical workers. According to March for Life Action, the organization is involved in numerous lawsuits challenging the very things that the Office of Civil Rights was created to protect.
Here’s more from Fox News:
[Three Trump administration officials] told Fox News that OGC had stalled the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which has served as a conduit for controversial measures surrounding gender, sexuality, and abortion. And despite making several strides on conservative issues, other major initiatives under OCR’s purview appeared to be unresolved. …
“President Trump took relentless and robust action to prioritize religious liberty and conscience protection,” said one former official who was familiar with the issue. “OCR [Office of Civil Rights] was tasked with carrying out those protections in a number of areas. It would be inexplicable if the department’s general counsel sought to stymie that important and explicit agenda.”
Tom McClusky, president of March for Life Action, also noticed a conflict between the two offices. He wrote about the problem in August at LifeNews: “When it came to banning the use of human fetal tissue for experiments, restricting funding for abortion entities, or protecting the rights of health care professionals from having to violate their personal beliefs, the White House had to intervene. In each case, I was told the problem was in the HHS Office of the General Counsel.”
Trump filled the Office of Civil Rights with strong leaders who worked to protect religious freedom and unborn babies’ lives. The office has been fighting to end workplace discrimination against pro-life medical workers. In one case, a nurse said she was tricked into helping abort an unborn baby at a Vermont hospital. She said she was told she would be helping with a miscarriage when it really was an elective abortion.
The Office of Civil Rights also has been trying to hold California accountable for violating federal law by forcing private health insurance plans to fund killing babies in abortions.