Health Care Workers Will Now Be Able To Deny Services
In a predictive move, the Trump administration has announced the revitalization of Religious Exemption rules that the Health and Human Services Department will enforce with an entirely new section. This new section will be called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.
A religious exemption means a health care worker could refuse to give medical service to someone because it was against their religious beliefs. For example, a nurse could refuse to give birth control or provide services to a transgendered patient. It could also potentially include care for HIV patients. The law could be used for any reason to deny services if the person was able to prove conflict with their religion.
This could also be used as a way to further erode abortion in the United States. Individuals could go to the hospital not knowing if they could get service or not being able to get an ambulance ride to the hospital because the person driving could say it was against their faith to support abortion.
This becomes especially dangerous in rural America, where is a growing lack of OBGYN doctors and so if the only doctor in the area refuses reproductive medical care it might drive women to underground facilities or no care at all.
The changes to the HHS was announced in preparation for last Friday’s March for Life, the largest anti-abortion rally in the country. It began to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court case that made abortion legal in the United States.
Many conservative religious groups have been pushing for the elimination of abortion, birth control, and care for transgendered patients.