New “Conscience Regulation” Allows Healthcare Providers To Refuse To Provide Or Pay For Certain Services And Procedures That Violate Personal Religious Or Moral Beliefs
On Thursday May 2, 2019, “President Trump announced a new rule allowing health providers, insurers and employers to refuse to provide or pay for services such as abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide that they say violate their religious or moral beliefs.” The rule would also allow patients and parents of patients to refuse certain types of medical procedures because of religious beliefs.
This new “conscience regulation” builds on an existing law from 2011 that “provided inadequate enforcement of conscience rights by only providing for handling complaints based on three federal conscience protection laws. This final rule implements approximately 25 federal conscience protection provisions.”
“The original proposal, released in January 2018, received more than 242,000 public comments and was one of the first actions taken by HHS’ new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, established in 2018.”