Skip to content
Deacon Keith Fournier Hi reader, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Bishops call for support for HHS rule change

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By (CNA/EWTN)
8/13/2019 (1 week ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

Public consultation closes Tuesday on a new rule to protect doctors' and healthcare workers' right to object to abortion and so-called gender reassignment procedures.

Highlights

By (CNA/EWTN)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
8/13/2019 (1 week ago)

Published in U.S.


Washington D.C., (CNA) - August 13 is the last day on which the Department of Health and Human Services will receive feedback on the proposed change to the interpretation of section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Working with the USCCB's pro-life committee, the bishops' conference has created a special website to help Catholics contact the department and express support for the regulatory change.

The Catholic Benefits Association, which advocates for religious liberty protections in insurance regulations, urged its supporters last week to respond to the bishops' initiative.

The change recognizes that "the government's enforcement of the nondiscrimination requirements must be consistent with the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act," the organization's CEO, Douglas Wilson, said in an email Aug. 8.

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act forbids federally funded healthcare programs from discrimination on the basis of sex. Under the current guidelines, issued under President Obama in May 2016, "sex" is defined as including "termination of pregnancy" and "gender identity," meaning that doctors who refuse to recognize abortion or sex-change operations as appropriate medical care can face prosecution for sex discrimination.

In May, the Trump administration announced it was considering changing regulations related to section 1557, removing the expansive definition of "sex," clarifying that section 1557 cannot be used to compel doctors to perform abortions or sex-change operations, and requiring that non-discrimination protections be interpreted in line with First Amendment freedoms.  

At the time of the announcement, the USCCB pro-life committee, led by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, issued a statement "applauding" the proposed changes and saying the bishops were "grateful" the administration was taking the "important step."

"These modifications follow the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act to ensure nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in health care," the statement said.

"The proposed regulations would help restore the rights of health care providers â€" as well as insurers and employers â€" who decline to perform or cover abortions or â€~gender transition' procedures due to ethical or professional objections. Catholic health care providers serve everyone who comes to them, regardless of characteristics or background. However, there are ethical considerations when it comes to procedures."

Eight states and multiple healthcare providers challenged the Obama-era regulations in federal district court in the case Franciscan Alliance v Burwell, filed in December 2016. That case resulted in Judge Reed O'Connor issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the regulations, finding that the expanded definition of sex discrimination likely encroached on religious freedom. The federal government did not appeal the injunction.

The USCCB's Office of the General Counsel submitted its own comments August 1, calling the current interpretation of section 1557 "erroneous" and arguing that it violated key civil liberty protections, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

"Commendably and appropriately, given the nationwide injunction and the government's confession of errorâ€"the proposed regulations correct this earlier misinterpretation," the general counsel wrote on behalf of the bishops.

The proposed new rule is open for public comment until midnight Tuesday.


Comments


More U.S.

Kentucky again denies abortion clinic's license Watch

Image of

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin's administration has reportedly denied a Planned Parenthood clinic in downtown Louisville its license to ... continue reading


Four more abuse allegations against former Cheyenne bishop Watch

Image of

Four new sex abuse allegations have been raised against Emeritus Bishop Joseph Hart, spanning his time both as a priest in Missouri and a ... continue reading



Charleston bishop stepping back to fight accusation Watch

Image of

The bishop of Charleston, South Carolina announced he will reduce his public appearances after being named in a lawsuit filed in New York. ... continue reading


Title X: Protect Life Rule comes in as Planned Parenthood walks out Watch

Image of

 Planned Parenthood will no longer receive Title X funds and has withdrawn from the program entirely. The decision took effect Monday, ... continue reading


After protest, Buffalo diocese denies allegations of former seminarian Watch

Image of

Amid a media firestorm and a small protest Sunday, the Diocese of Buffalo disputed allegations made in a letter published by a recently ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.