Following Creation Of Religious Freedom Division, Advocates Worry LGBT Patients May Forgo Care
Research shows people who identify as LGBT already face significant health care disparities due to stigma and lack of provider awareness and sensitivity. The Department of Health and Human Services did not introduce any rules with the creation of the office, but the division will focus on reviewing complaints from medical professionals under existing laws.
New HHS Religious Freedom Office Will Address Provider Concerns
The HHS on Thursday announced the creation of a religious freedom division within its Office of Civil Rights. This new unit will be tasked with asserting religious privilege for providers whose beliefs conflict with care such as abortions or consulting on sex-reassignment surgery. The effort was met with concerns by some providers and praise by others. Planned Parenthood called it "the latest example of this administration's efforts to block women, transgender people, and other marginalized communities from accessing health care," Dana Singiser, vice president of public policy and government relations said in a statement. (Dickson, 1/18)
The Washington Post:
Trump Is Targeting Health Workers’ Religious Objections. Here’s Why.
The Trump administration announced Thursday a new division responsible for handling complaints from health-care workers who do not want to perform a medical procedure like an abortion or assisted death because it violates their religious or moral beliefs, a move that seemed to renew past culture war battles over “conscience protections.” The new office, called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, is seen by many as a win for conservative religious groups that complained President Barack Obama’s administration did not prioritize religious freedom concerns. Critics, however, worry that the language is broad and could lead to discrimination. (Bailey, 1/18)
Trump To Protect Religious Health Workers Who Oppose Abortion
The Trump administration is moving to protect health-care workers who object to providing certain treatments, such as abortion or sterilization, for moral or religious reasons. The civil-rights office at the Department of Health and Human Services is setting up a new division that will enforce laws that let health-care workers opt out of providing some care based on their religious views. It’s the latest move by the Trump administration to push policies important to its most ardent supporters through executive action. (Tracer and Levingston, 1/18)
Minnesota Public Radio:
HHS Religious Freedom Division Draws Praise, Alarm In Minnesota
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Thursday promised vigorous enforcement of broad legal protections to shield health care providers opposed to abortion, gender reassignment and other controversial procedures. Trump administration officials portray their new effort as a way to protect health care providers from compromising their moral or religious convictions. (Zdechlik, 1/18)