Federal Court Blocks Biden Policy That Would Have Forced Christian Doctors to Do Abortions
A federal court has blocked a harmful Biden administration policy that would force Christian doctors and hospitals to kill babies in abortions.
In June 2020, President Donald Trump issued a pro-life rule to protect pro-life Americans and help save babies from abortion. His administration implemented a rule to block the effects of a dangerous Obamacare provision that could be used to compel doctors to participate in abortions.
In May, Joe Biden reversed it.
But late Monday, a federal court in Texas just blocked the policy, which would also force religious doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures on their patients—including children. The Biden administration will have 60 days to decide whether to appeal the court’s ruling.
The case of Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra was brought by a religious hospital, an association of over 20,000 healthcare professionals, and nine states, and it is now the second court ruling blocking the Biden administration from enforcing the policy.
“Today’s ruling is a victory for compassion, conscience, and common sense,” said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket. “No doctor should be forced to perform controversial, medically unsupported procedures that are contrary to their conscience and could be deeply harmful to their patients.”
“These religious doctors and hospitals provide top-notch medical care to all patients for everything from cancer to the common cold,” said Goodrich. “Everyone benefits when doctors are able to follow their professional medical judgment and their Hippocratic Oath to ‘Do No Harm.’”
During the trump administration, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule that revises 2016 provisions of the Obamacare section 1557 rule that had redefined discrimination “on the basis of sex” to include “pregnancy termination.” The new rule protected doctors, nurses and medical professionals from being compelled to assist abortions.
Biden’s decision overturned the Trump rule, which had defined “sex” as gender assigned at birth and clarified that sex discrimination does not include abortion when it comes to health care and coverage.
“HHS respects the dignity of every human being, and as we have shown in our response to the pandemic, we vigorously protect and enforce the civil rights of all to the fullest extent permitted by our laws as passed by Congress,” Roger Severino, former director of OCR, said in June 2020 when the pro-life Trump rule was initially put in place. “We are unwavering in our commitment to enforcing civil rights in healthcare.”
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The Biden administration’s new interpretation, if court allow it to be implemented, would guide OCR in conducting investigations and processing complaints, an HHS press release said, but will not “itself determine the outcome in any particular case or set of facts.”
Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine also said in a statement that HHS seeks to “enhance the health and well-being of all Americans.”
Before the November presidential election, Biden indicated he would eliminate conscience protections for pro-life health care providers, forcing them to adhere to pro-abortion ideology even if it conflicts with their medical judgment.
Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, told LifeNews.com that this is a radical pro-abortion agenda out of step with most Americans.
After Trump adopted the rule, a leading pro-life group praised him.
“President Trump is the most pro-life president our nation has ever seen, and today he delivered another important victory for conscience in America. Abortion is not health care and should never be mandated by the government,” said SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser.
She told LifeNews.com: “The Obama/Biden administration sought to expand abortion at every turn, even trying to reinterpret federal law to define abortion as a civil right. Since serving in the Obama administration, Joe Biden’s views on abortion have become even more extreme, as he now supports forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand – even brutal late-term abortions. We thank President Trump and Secretary Azar for standing firmly on the side of the majority of Americans who reject taxpayer funding of abortion, and for the action taken today to roll back the Obama/Biden-era assault on conscience.
Mary Beth Waddell, who serves as the Senior Legislative Assistant for Family Research Council, told LifeNews.com that the Trump rule protects doctors, nurses and medical professionals from being compelled to assist abortions.
Waddell said that, “Under the old Obama rule, medical professionals could have been forced to facilitate … abortions — even if they believed this was a violation of their conscience or believed it harmful to the patient.”
The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson, who submitted comments on the Trump rule and wrote on the Obama-era HHS and HUD regulations, had the following response after Trump adopted it:
“Truth matters and words have meaning. The Trump administration is right to formally rescind Obamacare regulations that radically altered the meaning of ‘sex’ to mean things it doesn’t. Today’s action follows the precedent of a federal court issuing a 50-state preliminary injunction that blocked these unlawful regulations from ever taking effect.”
“When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it prohibited discrimination on the basis of ‘sex.’ Several years later, the Obama administration redefined ‘sex’ to mean … termination of pregnancy. In addition to being an unlawful abuse of agency power, these rules would have caused serious harm.”
“They would have required doctors, hospitals, and health care organizations to act in ways contrary to their best medical judgments, their consciences, and the physical realities of their patients, or face steep fines and become easy targets for unreasonable and costly lawsuits.”
He concluded that federal law should not “force anyone to violate their prolife conscience or the privacy and safety of others in the name of political correctness.”