Late last week, the Trump administration issued a rule to block the effects of a dangerous Obamacare provision that pro-life advocates have warned could be used to force doctors to participate in abortions.
According to LifeSite News, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule on Friday that struck down the 2016 provisions of the Obamacare section 1557 rule that had redefined discrimination “on the basis of sex” to include “pregnancy termination.”
The rule now clarifies that the federal definition of sex discrimination under the Affordable Care Act does not include abortion and brings ACA regulations into compliance with conscience protection laws.
“The Department of Health and Human Services has corrected a dangerous Obamacare rule that distorted key portions of the legislation to the detriment of both medical professionals and patients,” said Mary Beth Waddell, the Senior Legislative Assistant for Family Research Council.
Waddell told LifeSite that “under the old Obama rule, medical professionals could have been forced to facilitate … abortions — even if they believed this was a violation of their conscience or believed it harmful to the patient. Fortunately, soon after it was finalized, the courts blocked the far-reaching rule that was clearly unconstitutional.”
“The rule finalized today helps protect health care providers from being forced to participate in and perform services that substantially violate their consciences and help protect their patients. Family Research Council fully supports these revisions to ensure Obamacare isn’t used as a vehicle to advance transgender or abortion politics,” Waddell concluded.
“President Trump is the most pro-life president our nation has ever seen, and today he delivered another important victory for conscience in America. Abortion is not health care and should never be mandated by the government,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser told LifeSite.
“The Obama/Biden administration sought to expand abortion at every turn, even trying to reinterpret federal law to define abortion as a civil right,” Dannenfelser went on. “Since serving in the Obama administration, Joe Biden’s views on abortion have become even more extreme, as he now supports forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand – even brutal late-term abortions. We thank President Trump and Secretary Azar for standing firmly on the side of the majority of Americans who reject taxpayer funding of abortion, and for the action taken today to roll back the Obama/Biden-era assault on conscience.”
The Heritage Foundation’s senior research fellow Ryan T. Anderson also lauded the rule.
“Truth matters and words have meaning,” Anderson declared. “The Trump administration is right to formally rescind Obamacare regulations that radically altered the meaning of ‘sex’ to mean things it doesn’t. Today’s action follows the precedent of a federal court issuing a 50-state preliminary injunction that blocked these unlawful regulations from ever taking effect.”
“When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act, it prohibited discrimination on the basis of ‘sex,’” Anderson continued. “Several years later, the Obama administration redefined ‘sex’ to mean … termination of pregnancy. In addition to being an unlawful abuse of agency power, these rules would have caused serious harm.”
Federal law, Anderson concluded, must never “force anyone to violate their pro-life conscience or the privacy and safety of others in the name of political correctness.”
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