President Donald Trump announced that his administration had finalized new regulations to protect the rights of clinicians who object to performing abortions based on religious or conscientious objection.
Speaking at the White House in the Rose Garden marking the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, the president said the rule had been finalized, Fox News reported.
“Just today we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students and faith-based charities,” the president said, adding that they had been wanting to do that “for a long time.”
The rule would require hospitals, medical clinics, and other facilities that receive government funding from programs like Medicare and Medicaid to verify that they have complied with federal laws defending conscience and religious rights.
The provisions also address other medical procedures such sterilization and assisted suicide.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, doctors and medical facilities could file a complaint under the Federal Health Care Provider Conscience Protection Statutes if they believe they have been discriminated against because they objected to or refused to participate in certain medical procedures, were coerced into performing the procedures against their religious or moral beliefs, or if they refused to provide health care items or such services.
The Trump administration on Thursday moved to protect the rights of clinicians who object to participating in abortions with a regulation intended to safeguard those with religious and moral objections.https://t.co/lNvN2J4xUo pic.twitter.com/6LOepzgEm5— 6 News (@WJACTV) May 2, 2019
Trump said the rule was a part of his administration’s efforts to preserve religious liberty in every facet of American life, The Washington Times reported.
“This rule ensures that health care 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,” said Roger Severino, director of HHS’s Office for Civil Rights, according to The Washington Times.
Last year, HHS reportedly received more than 1,300 complaints from those in medical settings that cited discrimination based on religious beliefs or conscientious concerns, according to Fox News.
The National Women’s Law Center, a defender of abortion rights, said in a statement that the new rules would allow “anyone from a doctor to a receptionist to entities like hospitals and pharmacies to deny a patient critical — and sometimes lifesaving — care,” Fox News reported.
In a statement, the National Right to Life, whose mission is to protect and defend the right to life, thanked the president for enforcing the laws and protecting those in the medical field who object to taking part in activities that take innocent human lives. The organization also thanked him for following through on another one of his campaign promises.