New HHS Policy Puts Medical Professionals' Conscience Rights at Risk

May 19, 2021

Under the Biden administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the Office of Civil Rights “will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibitions on discrimination based on sex to include: (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity.” In short, the agency will no longer base the definition of “sex” on biology.
 
The new rule reverses an HHS rule issued under the Trump administration that defined “sex” as “male or female and as determined by biology.”
 
The new rule will inevitably lead doctors and other medical professionals to be pressured to perform procedures or promote certain treatment against their beliefs—a measure in keeping with the current administration’s track record.
 
Xavier Becerra, the Biden-appointed HHS secretary sued to force churches to pay for abortions in their health care plans in his former post as attorney general of California. Becerra also tried to force pro-life pregnancy help centers to provide patients with information on how to obtain an abortion.
 
Since becoming secretary of HHS, Becerra filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to force doctors to perform “gender transition surgery” in violation of their conscience and professional medical judgment.
 
Biden has expressed a commitment to seeing the “Equality Act” signed into law. The Equality Act, which passed in the U.S. House and is waiting to be voted on in the Senate, also adopts a nonbiological definition of “sex” and amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to elevate “sexual orientation and gender identity” to the same protected category as race. And just as the HHS’ new definition of “sex” is concerning for medical professionals, the Equality Act will force doctors, nurses and counselors to violate their religious, moral and ethical conscience by imposing ideology that is not based on scientific fact or reality.

 

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