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The Biden administration is working to rescind a Trump rule intended to protect religious health care workers by allowing them to refuse to provide services which they feel violate their conscience and moral beliefs.
Keeping in-line with the Biden agenda, a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) confirmed to Politico on Tuesday that measures to rescind the rule are in the works.
“HHS has made clear through the unified regulatory agenda that we are in the rulemaking process,” the spokesperson said.
The Trump rule, which was introduced in 2018 and subsequently blocked why the courts, was viewed as a boon to religious liberty, particularly with regard to health care workers opposed to increasingly common transgender “treatments” for children and abortion services.
Politico emphasized that Trump’s rule would have “allowed doctors, nurses, medical students, pharmacists and other health workers to refuse to provide abortions, contraception, gender affirming care, HIV and STD services, vasectomies or any procedure to which they object.”
Earlier this month, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said lawmakers who are working to protect minors from puberty blockers and transgender surgeries have been “put on notice” by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“Alabama’s lawmakers and other legislators who are contemplating these … discriminatory bills have been put on notice by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that laws and policies preventing care that health care professionals recommend for transgender minors may violate the Constitution and federal law,” Psaki said at a press briefing.
The press secretary’s comments were in reference to Alabama banning doctors from mutilating children or putting them on puberty blockers if they “identify” as the opposite sex, and advancing parental rights by forbidding teachers’ “instruction” on sexuality and gender identity between kindergarten and fifth grade.
Roger Severino, then-director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights, praised Trump’s “conscience” rule in 2019, when it was finalized.
“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,” he said, according to Christianity Today. “Protecting conscience and religious freedom not only fosters greater diversity in healthcare, it’s the law.”
Then-acting HHS secretary Eric Hargan said Trump’s move at the time was a promise kept.
“President Trump promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom,” Hargan said. “That promise is being kept today. The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”