The Catholic Medical Association, a national group with a membership of 2,400, has condemned a rule the Biden Administration is proposing as being “coercive” and a “clear violation of First Amendment protections.”
Rule 1557, issued Monday, would force medical professionals to perform procedures such as abortions, gender transition surgeries and assisted suicide “against their moral, religious, and clinical judgment,” the group says.
“The rule would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity by hospitals and other health care providers that receive federal funding,” the New York Times explained. “The new rule comes as some states are enacting bans on providing gender-affirming surgery, particularly for transgender youth. Xavier Becerra, Mr. Biden’s secretary of health and human services, told reporters it would ‘remove the friction’ that kept anti-discrimination protections from being available to all Americans.”
“Health care is health care, and if you need access to it, you should not be obstructed from accessing care,” Becerra said. “That, to me, is the most important principle.”
But the Catholic doctors’ group worries the rule will remove federal conscience protections that are important to its members and other health care professionals.
“With this proposed regulation, the Biden Administration has taken yet another action of blatant government overreach,” the CMA said in a statement. “In 2019, federal regulations were enacted that protected medical professionals from unfounded discrimination if they declined participation in actions contrary to their moral or ethical principles. This protection is at risk of being destroyed with the Biden Administration’s Health and Human Services proposal to rescind these constitutionally sound principles.”
Not only are conscience rights at risk, the CMA said, the healthcare industry’s future is in jeopardy because of government regulations such as Rule 1557. Having weathered the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, the profession can’t afford to lose good, conscientious doctors, nurses and technicians because of rules that force them to violate their conscience, the group says.
“Unfortunately, many of our physicians and other healthcare professionals are choosing to leave their careers due to government intrusions in their care for others,” the CMA stated. “Further, our potential future medical professionals are opting out of these careers for the same reason. This critical shortage of those who will care for Americans in the years to come will be exacerbated by the Biden Administration’s actions. Why would our best and brightest individuals choose a medical career and its sacrifices knowing that the federal government will dictate what they must or can’t do?”