New federal office to protect consciences, religious objections of health care professionals

The Health and Human Services Department issued a statement Thursday about the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division that will enforce "laws and regulations that protect conscience and prohibit coercion on issues such as abortion and assisted suicide". President Bush had some conscience protections for health care workers, but the Obama administration reversed them, noting that they were being used to justify various forms of discrimination.

The HHS website says the OCR receives discrimination complaints under the following laws: The Church Amendments, Section 245 of the Public Health Service Act, The Weldon Amendment and The Affordable Care Act.

HHS previously issued rules allowing companies with religious or moral objections to deny contraceptive coverage to their employees.

The order beefed up existed protections for religious believers - as federal law already includes numerous provisions to protect medical workers and their beliefs. However, the American Civil Liberties Union opposed the new division.

Rev. Sammy Rodriguez called the move "powerful", and told CBN News he thinks President Trump is building a "firewall" to protect people of faith.

Although the new Health and Human Services division has been created, it's unclear exactly how it will approach its mission.

Twila Brase, head of the Minnesota-based, national patient-doctor rights group, Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, said establishing the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division is a good move by the administration.

Officials said the division, part of the HHS' Office of Civil Rights, will stand ready to assist health care workers who say they're being coerced into participating in procedures that violate their beliefs.

President Trump pushes back against chief of staff over border wall
We need the Wall to help stop the massive inflow of drugs from Mexico , now rated the number one most unsafe country in the world. With federal funding expiring at midnight on Friday, Congress was facing a growing possibility of a government shutdown .

Turkey signals military incursion on Kurdish-held Afrin in Syria
US officials have said it plans to expand a training program for local Kurdish and Arab border guards in Syria. Iran has been Syria's closest ally in the country's almost seven-year civil war against Sunni rebel forces.

Astronaut Slated To Be First African-American ISS Crew Member Unexpectedly Grounded
NASA selected Syracuse, New York-born Epps as an astronaut in 2009, and the May spaceflight would have been her first. She graduated from Corcoran in 1988 and went on to 11 1/2 more years of schooling, beginning at Le Moyne College.

[F] or too long, too many healthcare practitioners have been bullied and discriminated against due to their religious beliefs and moral convictions, leading many of them to wonder what future they have in our medical system.

"We are delighted that HHS has formed the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division", Stevens said in a news release. "Denying a transgender person - or any person - life-saving care if they walk into an emergency room is far from a moral act, it is unjust and unsafe".

"Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren't enforced", Office of Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said.

Of course, this is not the first time the Trump administration has attacked trans people's health.

Asma Uddin, a fellow at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations and a Muslim, spoke at an HHS press conference about the need for protection against what she said was a variety of ways Muslim women patients are forced to violate their conscience, particularly with respect to modesty.

HHS hasn't responded to repeated inquiries from the Washington Blade on the nature of the new division or whether a new rule would be forthcoming.

In a statement provided to Brit + Co, Dr. Willie Parker, a reproductive rights advocate and chair of the board of Physicians for Reproductive Health, said, "As medical professionals, our utmost concern is that people can get timely, high-quality health care that they need without stigma or obstacles".

"This will impose a broad religious refusal policy that will allow individuals and institutions to deny basic care for women and transgender people".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)

ICE preparing to arrest 1500 undocumented people in Northern California
Police said they had learned belatedly that the operation also netted people suspected only of immigration violations. The senators say retaliatory raids would be "an abhorrent abuse of power" and should instead target risky criminals.

Government Shutdown: What to Expect in the DMV
Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park. On Friday, uncertainty loomed for those people as Congress negotiated the passage of a potential short-term funding bill.

Australian Open 2018: Novak Djokovic overcomes heat, Gael Monfils
Ninth-seeded Johanna Konta was more exposed to the heat on an outside court, and lost to US lucky loser Bernarda Pera 6-4, 7-5. Comedic actor, Will Ferrell, conducted a post match interview with the Swissman to the delight of those in attendance.

Gerard Pique extends contract at Barcelona
He has been part of both historic Barcelona trebles (2008/09 and 2014/15) and is also a three-time FIFA Club World Cup victor . "His buyout clause has been set at 500m euros", the club confirmed through an official statement.

King's Cup: Lionel Messi misses penalty as Barcelona go down to Espanyol
Barca fans were banned from the stadium but trouble briefly flared as Jasper Cillessen went down after being hit by a bottle top. His angled shot deflected off a defender and goalkeeper Antonio Sivera was unable to recover in time to make the save.

Trump signs tax, govt spending bills into law
Surrounded by his Republican colleagues, Trump said that this tax plan was the fulfilment of one of his major campaign promises. A number of large USA businesses immediately promised their employees bonuses after the tax bill passed Congress, he noted .

Nintendo's New Switch Games Are DIY Cardboard Toys
If you thought Minecraft was the best thing for kids on the Switch , get ready for Nintendo to (once again) blow your mind. Nintendo will also be selling customization sets, including tape, stickers, and stencils, for $9.99 a set.

China Dec Industrial Output +6.2% on Year; Market Expected +6.0%
It's the first time since 2010 that the pace of growth has picked up. There had been clues the figure would be better-than-expected. Healthy growth in 2017 was seen as particularly important.

Kylie Jenner To Get Nervous About Giving Birth For The First Time
The best part. the judge reacted to Chyna's claim that E! dropped " Rob & Chyna" because the Kardashians painted her as a bad mother.

USA senator blasts Republican 'amnesia' over Trump 's***hole' comments
What is the worst thing that allows bigotry and hate to proliferate is people who... stand by and do nothing when it's said. I had individual meetings with the president and I've had group conversations where there was, as you said, cross-talk.

MEA Summons Pakistan High Commissioner Over Frequent Ceasefire Violations
In a statement, the military said Pakistani troops Thursday responded to Indian fire on villages in the Sialkot district near the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir.

Trump falsely claims his approval among Black Americans has doubled
On fighting terrorism, his grades are a wash - 39 percent give him an "A" or "B", the same percentage that gives him a "D" or "F". His highest approval rating was 45 percent, which was deduced after he took office in January 2017.

Twitter finds more Russia-backed accounts, to notify 7 lakh users
Did you get an email from Twitter? Working with congressional investigators , Twitter is also sharing the account handles found with Congress.

Gunmen attack Intercontinental Hotel in Afghan capital Kabul
Residents in the area report a high volume of ambulances at the scene but the area has been cordoned off by security forces. Security forces stand guard near the Intercontinental Hotel after a deadly attack in Kabul , Afghanistan, on Saturday.

Jio offering mirror content to TVs
For the MobiKwik users, the cashback is Rs. 300 along with 100% SuperCash MobiKwik hotel voucher up to Rs. 2,500. But we can't say that Vodafone is far behind from the race of launching new prepaid plans for all prepaid users.

More News

More News