The Biden administration is set to rescind a Trump-era rule that protects Christian healthcare workers from performing abortions and sex-reassignment surgeries.
A new report revealed that the Biden administration is poised to reverse another Trump-era measure, this time one that protects Christian doctors from being forced to perform procedures that are not aligned with their religious beliefs. Such procedures include abortion, sex-reassignment surgery, and assisted suicide.
The Christian Headlines reported that the Trump administration's rule was released in 2019 and was written to protect religious healthcare workers "from having to provide, participate in, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for" procedures or services they oppose on the basis of conscience. The rule cited abortion, assisted suicide, sterilization and gender dysphoria as procedures or services that may be objected by healthcare professionals.
The Trump-era measure was supported by several faith-based groups, including the Christian Medical and Dental Associations. However, in 2019, a federal judge overturned the rule, arguing that the Department of Health and Human Services under the Trump administration did not have statutory authority to implement it.
Despite this, the Biden administration is now poised to overturn the Trump-era measure and may do so in the coming weeks, Politico reported. According to an HHS spokesperson, "HHS has made clear through the unified regulatory agenda that we are in the rulemaking process."
Planned Parenthood, America's largest abortion provider, has applauded the Biden administration's move. The abortion provider's senior vice president of policy, organizing, and campaigns Jacqueline Ayers said, "As state politicians continue to strip people of their sexual and reproductive rights and freedoms, it's imperative that the Biden-Harris administration revoke this discriminatory policy and help ensure people can access the health care and information they need when they need it."
Meanwhile, pro-life groups and advocates of religious liberty criticized the Biden adminisrtration's decision. Alliance Defending Freedom's senior counsel Matt Bowman argued, "No American should be forced to violate their ethical and religious beliefs. Doctors, nurses, and other medical providers should enjoy this same constitutional protection, free to live and work in a manner consistent with their faith."
The Federalist, in a report titled "Biden Administration Wants To Force Nurses To Murder Babies Even If It Terrorizes Their Souls," pointed out how the current Democratic president cared not about "conscience-based protections" by purshing for taxpayer-funded abortions even before he took office. The report accused President Biden of emboldening HHS secretary Xavier Becerra, who was described as a "pro-abortion 'extremist'" to tear down the agency's Conscience and Religious Freedom Division established by the Trump administration to protect the religious rights of healthcare workers.
Becerra reportedly removed any mention of "conscience," "religion," and "Conscience and Religious Freedom Division" from the agency's budget and quietly dismissed a case against one hospital in which a nurse was forced to perform an abortion despite her religious objections.
The Biden administration's move to reverse the Trump-era measure that protects Christian doctors from performing abortions and sex-change surgeries comes at a time when more and more states are cracking down on abortions through restrictive laws, such as the Texas Heartbeat Act, which has become the model for other conservative states to pass their own abortion legislation.