WASHINGTON, DC: On Thursday, May 2nd, President Trump announced a finalization of a rule on conscience protection in a statement during the National Day of Prayer. In his remarks, the president stated, “Just today, we finalized new protections of conscience rights for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, teachers, students, and faith-based charities. Together, we are building a culture that cherishes the dignity and worth of human life. Every child – born and unborn – is a sacred gift from God.”
Today, Health and Human Services (HHS) is enforcing its authority on previous conscience protection policies by implementing a rule titled, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority.” This rule enhances the authority of 25 pre-existing laws that protect the longstanding conscience rights of Americans in healthcare funded by HHS.
Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) introduced H.R. 2014, the Conscience Protection Act, on April 1, 2019, with 80 additional Members of Congress co-sponsoring the bill. The Conscience Protection Act would take the next step in protecting the rights of conscience for medical providers by guaranteeing a private right of action for individuals whose conscience rights have been violated and supporting Americans in having freedom of religion and conscience in healthcare.
Rep. Harris made the following statement supporting the president’s remarks:
“I support President Trump in his remarks today and in his efforts to protect the conscience of Americans who provide health care. Just last month, I led 80 Members of Congress in introducing the Conscience Protection Act, H.R. 2014, which amends the Public Health Service Act to prevent any federal, state, or local government from penalizing or discriminating against a health care provider if the provider does not participate in highly controversial abortion practices. As a physician and lawmaker, I support conscience protection because I strongly believe that health care providers should not be forced to violate their conscience when providing care for patients, and I applaud President Trump and his administration in their efforts to support conscience protection for all Americans.”