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USCCB has bone to pick with Affordable Care Act

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J-P Mauro - published on 05/04/24

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades pushed back against the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in the HHS definition of "sex."

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has addressed the final regulations implementing the nondiscrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act, announced by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in April.

In a letter penned by Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, the bishops expressed their concern with the inclusion of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in the definition of “sex.”

The regulation, as the USCCB writes, would require that healthcare workers perform “gender transitioning” procedures for the sake of non-discrimination, which would cause turmoil among Catholic health professions. Above all, Bishop Rhoades wrote that “health care that truly heals must be grounded in truth.”

In his capacity as chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty of the USCCB, Bishop Rhoades wrote

“The human right to health care flows from the sanctity of human life and the dignity that belongs to all human persons, who are made in the image of God. The same core beliefs about human dignity and the wisdom of God’s design that motivate Catholics to care for the sick also shape our convictions about care for preborn children and the immutable nature of the human person. These commitments are inseparable.”

The bishop did note his appreciation that the final regulations did not attempt to issue a mandate in regards to abortion. He explained, however, that the ideological view of sex that the report follows is summarily rejected by the Catholic Church. The bishop instructed that sexual differences are among “the most beautiful and most powerful differences that exist between living beings.”

“I pray that health care workers will embrace the truth about the human person, a truth reflected in Catholic teaching, and that HHS will not substitute its judgment for their own,” Bishop Rhoades concluded.

Read the full letter at the website of the USCCB.

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