June 15, 2020

HHS Protects Doctors' Right to Object to Abortion and Gender Reassignment

Photo Credit: American Life League / Flickr
The Department of Health and Human Services put in place a new rule that will protect doctors' right to object to certain morally questionable procedures based on their conscience. The rule makes it clear that objecting to abortion and gender reassignment procedures is not an act of sex-based discrimination.

“HHS will enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word ‘sex’ as male or female and as determined by biology,” said an HHS announcement.

Eight states and several healthcare providers challenged the Obama-era definition of sex-discrimination issued by the HHS in 2016. This culminated in Judge Reed O’Connor issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction against the regulation, finding that it violated the religious freedom of medical professionals. This injunction was never appealed. Now, the problematic regulations are no longer in place.