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Monday, September 24, 2018

Accuser v. Judge should be about true justice--not misandry.

At this point, any Senate hearing on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh appears much less likely to illuminate the actual truth about alleged events than to illuminate the political, ideological and even the gender-based biases and agendas of senators.
What has been highlighted in this agonizing process, unfortunately, is how little so many people in Congress and in this country seem to care about the rule of law ... or reasoned and civil debate ... or true justice.
True justice does not allow automatically favoring the testimony of one gender over another. That's bald-faced bias, bigotry, discrimination.

Congress advances some pro-life measures but denies legal recourse to pro-life victims of discrimination

The Conscience Protection Act simply prevents governmental discrimination against health professionals who decline involvement in abortion and provides victims legal recourse in court. 
So when Congress refuses to pass such basic legislation (see below), it would appear that our government wishes to allow continued discrimination against pro-life health professionals, without legal recourse.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Essay 10: Conscience freedom extends from campus to career


Atty. Gen. Sessions: religious liberty threats
"must be confronted and defeated."

Editor's Note: This is the tenth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.


I recently attended a U.S. Department of Justice conference headlined by remarks by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, on religious freedom. [i]
The Attorney General pointedly addressed the false notion, advocated in recent years by abortion advocates including some in the medical community, that professionals automatically sacrifice their Constitutional freedoms when they choose their profession:

Friday, August 24, 2018

Not your mother's family planning program


Several federal grants awarded under a recent Title X funding opportunity illustrate the current administration's determination to ensure that faith-based and pro-life clinics, hospitals, pregnancy centers and sexual risk avoidance programs get a fair and legal chance to compete for federal funding.
Drs. David and Janet Kim direct a faith-based health clinic
recently awarded a $2-million Title X family planning grant.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Hitler’s Adversary Challenges Us to Public Square Engagement




“How did the German citizens allow Hitler to come to power? How did an entire nation drink the Kool-Aid[i] of anti-Semitism and national socialism?”


By Anne Foster, Govt. Relations Fellow, Christian Medical Association

These questions have run through the minds of most Americans upon learning of the atrocities of World War II and the Holocaust.  As a child, I remember thinking to myself, “We would never allow this to happen in America,” as if being an American somehow implied I am of a morally superior race, a breed of humans whose innate, well-formed consciences would prevent us from allowing such egregious crimes to be committed on our land. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

New federal rule protects conscience and opens the door to pro-life family planning programs


Action: Read and send my pre-written message.

Your supportive comments by July 31
can help make sure this proposed rule
is finalized and becomes reality.
If a new proposed federal rule is finalized after a public comment period ending July 31, pro-life medical professionals and programs finally will be able to take advantage of family planning grants opportunities.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new federal family planning rule to govern federal family planning (Title X) funds. Your supportive comments by July 31 can help make sure this proposed rule is finalized and becomes reality.
Meanwhile, the Christian Medical Association is joining with other national pro-life organizations to prepare training resources that can help you apply for a federal family planning grant (more on that training to come…).
By voicing your support now for this new rule, you also can help protect conscience freedom in healthcare. The new rule removes abortion participation requirements and enforces federal conscience law.
Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar industry that every year
rakes in half a billion tax dollars and
performs nearly a third of a million abortions.

Breaking up the abortion industry's monopoly on federal family planning funds


Monday, June 18, 2018

Voice your view on conscience protections, patient and taxpayer benefits and parental protections

You can voice your support now for a  new federal family planning rule to enhance care, respect conscience and protect patients:
The new rule will benefit:
  • Patients seeking family planning services from health professionals and organizations with lifeaffirming values.
  • Taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars to fund the abortion industry.
  • Health professionals and organizations who could use federal funding to help provide services of family planning.
  • Parents who want to be advised of and participate in their children's healthcare, especially regarding family planning. 
Meanwhile, the new rule also will help stop abuses by the abortion industry and others who under the old rule may have:

Bizarre Newspeak translates killing as healthcare

In an opinion piece published in The Hill ("Abortion refusal laws are not about religion, but about control," June 6, 2018), an abortion clinic representative laid out a Newspeak rationale that attempts to paint abortion not as brutal killing but as healthcare.

A bizarre twist

Julie A. Burkhart, founder and CEO of Trust Women Foundation, expressed her bizarre view that the ancient Hippocratic oath, which bans abortions, and the related medical ethics injunction to "do no harm" mean precisely the opposite of what the medical community has understood them to mean for several millennia.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Essay 9: Intolerance of conscience threatens diversity in medicine


Editor's Note: This is the ninth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.
In their commentary published in the New England Journal of Medicine,[i] Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel and Professor Ronit Stahl argue for discontinuing the historic policy of tolerating a diversity of ethical convictions among health professionals. Emanuel and Stahl urge dismissing conscience legal protections for health professionals, maligning such protections as merely "legislative tools that are used to insulate professionals from performing tasks that they personally deem objectionable."[ii]
In their view, conscience protections essentially function as an instrument of class warfare, a bourgeois oppression of the proletariat. A tool by which wealthy, selfish physicians dominate their poor, powerless patients.
Emanuel and Stahl decree that upon
entering the profession, physicians
sacrifice conscience and
individual medical judgement.

Friday, May 18, 2018

CMA doctors support administration proposal to keep federal funds separate from abortion

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens: "Taxpayers want their money to support healthcare, and abortion is not healthcare."

Washington, DC—May 18, 2018--The 19,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) today expressed support for administration plans to disentangle taxpayer funds from abortion as a method of family planning.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens noted, "Taxpayers want their money to support healthcare, and abortion is not healthcare.
"The 'Protect Life Rule' proposed today should go a long way to ensuring that our tax dollars are not illegally propping up the abortion industry. Planned Parenthood is a billion-dollar industry that gets half a billion of our tax dollars and performs nearly a third of a million abortions per year, according to its own annual reports.
"Importantly, the new proposal also is expected to stop mandated referrals for abortions. Most pro-life physicians such as our members cannot refer for abortion, because of conscience and because abortion violates longstanding medical ethics such as the Hippocratic oath.
"True healthcare promotes health, healing and comfort. Abortion doesn’t maintain or improve the health of the mother or unborn child. Even in rare cases when a pregnant woman for health reasons may need her baby delivered early, it should never be done with the intent to kill her child."
"These tax dollars can go to many fine community and rural healthcare centers, which far outnumber the Planned Parenthood abortion clinics and provide a vast array of quality, non-controversial and life-affirming healthcare services."

Background

Congress authorized the Title X program in 1970 to provide family planning services to low income women. The authorizing statute drew a bright line of separation between family planning and abortion: “None of the funds appropriated under this subchapter shall be used in programs where abortion is a method of family planning.”
Current regulations in place since the Clinton administration require Title X grantees to refer pregnant women for abortion, and Title X grantees may be located in the same location as an abortion clinic. Title X is Planned Parenthood’s second-largest stream of federal funding. A 2018 GAO report indicated that Planned Parenthood receives approximately $56 million taxpayer dollars through Title X alone annually.
Today, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) posted a notice that it is reviewing a proposed rule governing the “statutory program integrity requirements” of the Title X family planning program. The text of the proposed rule is not yet available but reportedly requires a bright line of physical as well as financial separation between Title X programs and any program (or facility) where abortion is performed, supported, or referred for as a method of family planning.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Essay 8: Abortion and sex issues incite opposition to conscience freedom rule

Editor's Note: This is the eighth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.
In an April 2018 editorial published in The Hill[i] protesting the conscience freedom protection rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)[ii], American Nurses Association president Pamela Cipriano and American Academy of Nursing president Karen Cox outline the typical "no tolerance" policy of conscience freedom opponents. As usual, they cite a "duty to patients" that allegedly overrides any other moral or ethical obligation, most notably the Hippocratic oath, biblical principles and pro-life conscience convictions.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Essay 7: Conscience freedoms protect against ideological agendas

Editor's Note: This is the seventh essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.
With pro-life individuals increasingly targeted,
conscience laws can help protect both
patients and professionals from discrimination.
On January 26, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed a conscience protection rule designed to enforce and educate regarding "a long history of providing conscience-based protections for individuals and entities with objections to certain activities based on religious belief and moral convictions. "[i]
The rule specifically cited over two dozen existing federal statutes protecting the exercise of conscience in healthcare, both for patients and professionals. Included in the laws are:
·      

Monday, March 26, 2018

Comment by March 27 on new HHS conscience rule that erects a wall against ideologically driven assaults

Action: Submit your comment by Tuesday, March 27 to protect conscience in healthcare

Today I submitted a document to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlining the reasons why a new proposed conscience protection rule serves the interests of health professionals and their patients:

TO: Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights RIN 0945-ZA03
FROM: Christian Medical Association and Freedom2Care - Jonathan Imbody
RE: RIN 0945-ZA03 or Docket HHS-OCR-2018-0002
DATE: March 26, 2018

Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority

The following narrative offers answers to specific requests for comments (marked below with numbers and quotations) outlined in the text of the proposed rule.

·       "Comment on all issues raised by the proposed regulation."

The Christian Medical Association and Freedom2Care, representing combined constituencies of nearly 50,000 individuals who are committed to the moral and ethical practice of medicine, heartily applaud this proposed rule. We laud the Department for producing an outstanding tool to enforce existing conscience protection law and to educate regarding our most cherished principles of freedom.
The proposed rule clearly and thoroughly lays down the legal and rational foundation for the Department's enforcement of and education about existing federal law that protects the exercise of conscience and religious convictions in healthcare, both for patients and for professionals. Given the priority of conscience and religious freedom in our nation's founding, in our Constitution and in our legal tradition, the case could not be clearer for restoring the rightful place of these freedoms among other civil rights laws and principles.
Only willful political corruption and ideologically driven assaults on these core founding principles can explain why in 2018 the universal integration of conscience and religious freedom in healthcare remains incomplete. Therefore the proposed rule offers a welcome, if long overdue, course correction to get the nation back on track on the principles on which this democratic republic depends.
While the proposed rule offers hope of a renaissance of a political, cultural and professional commitment to freedom of conscience and religious exercise, ideological forces within government, academia and the healthcare community continue to subvert these freedoms. As a survey of medical and academic publications will indicate, abortion advocacy and a strong undercurrent of intolerance for faith-based and pro-life commitments would sweep out of medicine any and all health professionals who hold to such ideals. A radical and authoritarian ideology that marches under the false flag of "patient autonomy" would force all professionals to participate in any legal procedure or prescription, regardless of professional judgment, medical ethics or moral convictions.
The result of such intolerance and coercion, left unchecked by federal law, court action and regulatory enforcement, would be a catastrophic loss of healthcare for millions of American patients. Hardest hit by the loss of pro-life and faith-based professionals and institutions would be the poor, the marginalized and the medically underserved.
By enforcing the freedom of pro-life and faith-based health professionals to continue to practice medicine, the proposed rule protects patient access to a diverse pool of health professionals and institutions. In the process, the rule also upholds and advances core American values of freedom.

To read the rest of the document, click here.

To learn how to quickly (30 seconds) submit your own comment on the proposed rule (deadline Tuesday, March 27) using a pre-written, editable form, click here.

To watch a quick video explanation, click here.


Friday, March 16, 2018

Use our ready-made comment form to voice your view on a new healthcare faith and conscience rule

Action: Use this form to voice your view on the new healthcare faith and conscience rule

We have a brief window of opportunity to protect conscience and religious freedom in healthcare.
The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Resources (HHS) has proposed-and asked for our comments on-a new rule that would strongly protect the religious and conscience rights of health professionals and patients.

Whom does the new rule protect?

The new rule will help protect pro-life, faith-based and morally concerned health professionals and patients from discrimination, loss of physician, coercion, job loss, loss of healthcare access, license revocation, demotions, loss of educational opportunity, forced training and much more.

What if I've experienced discrimination?

The new rule also gives us a defender-the HHS Office of Civil Rights-to  take up complaints of discrimination, educate the health community about conscience and enforce 25 federal laws related to faith and conscience freedom in healthcare.
Also on the Freedom2Care legal hep web page, you also can take legal steps to address the discrimination you experienced.

How do I submit a comment?

The quick action you can take right now is to visit our Freedom2Care web page and follow the very simple steps to submit your comment. You can also learn more there about the proposed rule.
Then just push the button and submit your comment.

Why bother?

By submitting your comment, you will be protecting your God-given, constitutionally asserted rights to choose what to believe and to act on your beliefs. You also will be protecting the rights of other health professionals, patients and all Americans to do the same.

What's the deadline for my comments?

The deadline is March 27.
Important: You can also include in your comment any discrimination in healthcare, because of conscience or faith, that you have experienced or witnessed.
(For legal help and reporting discrimination, click here.)

Thank you for taking advantage of this rare opportunity.

Npte: On the Freedom2Care web page, you can choose a quick and simple response or also a more detailed response to specific questions if you prefer.
Alternatively, you can submit your comment directly to HHS via regulations.gov here.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Essay 6: New HHS division, conscience freedom laws and policies protect patients and physicians



The new HHS division implements 25 federal conscience laws

Editor's Note: This is the sixth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.

In January 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a new division within its Office of Civil Rights—the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division.[i] The new division now serves as a center for information on 25 federal conscience laws, outlined on the division's website, including:[ii]

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Christian Medical Association highlights implementation of new US policy keeping tax dollars from abortion groups overseas



Washington, DC, February 7, 2018—The 19,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org), today lauded the administration's implementation of the new Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy.
Jonathan Imbody, CMA Vice President for Government Relations, said the policy is "effectively advancing human rights consistent with the values of the American people and the aims of US foreign health aid, by ensuring that all global health assistance tax dollars will be used to save lives and promote health and welfare for all."
The CMA's comments came as the administration at 5 p.m. today rolled out a six-month review of the implementation of the policy, formerly known as the Mexico City Policy. The report indicated a smooth transition to the new policy for most recipients of federal grants: "Nearly all prime partners that have had the opportunity to accept the policy have done so; prime partners declined to sign in only four instances out of 733 awards."
Imbody continued, "Under this administration's new policy, no longer are American values and tax dollars subverted by organizations with contradictory principles and counterproductive programs. The new policy requires and restores consistency with lifesaving programs and American values and also enables and enhances partnerships between the American people and effective, life-honoring organizations overseas.
"For too many years under previous administrations, US global health assistance contradicted our national commitment to universal human rights and dignity, by fueling the work of foreign organizations that perform and/or promote abortion as a method of family planning. Contrary to American principles of inalienable human rights and dignity for all, these foreign organizations treat some human lives as mere property for disposal and destruction at will.
"This life-honoring policy, by contrast, advances a view of human dignity and human rights that honors each and every human being—whether already born or waiting to be born--as invaluable individuals created in God's image and worthy of honor and protection."


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Essay 5: Are healthcare conscience laws needed?

Editor's Note: This is the fifth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left. 
Someone forwarded to me a Facebook comment about the news that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had established a new division to address conscience and religious freedom in healthcare.
"So I just read this article and can't really even wrap my head around this. Perhaps because of my personal and professional opinion I cannot understand how this 'division' was created. I would love to hear the opinions of other professionals. I promise I am not trying to troll or create controversy, but simply attempting to understand how opting out of providing medical care or performing procedures despite the medical need/request can coexist with our professional ethics and obligations."

Friday, January 19, 2018

House passes Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act!

This morning the House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (H.R. 4712), by a vote of 241-183. 235 Republican Members and 6 Democratic Members (Cartwright-PA, Cuellar-TX, Langevin-RI, Lipinski-IL, Peterson-MN, Walz-MN ) voted to support HR 4712; No Republicans and 183 Democratic Members voted against.

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL) managed the debate on the floor; her speech and those of the other Members speaking during the debate are linked below.

Rep. Martha Roby (R-AL), opening and closing

Christian Medical Association physicians laud new federal conscience rule as protecting patient access to healthcare

Washington, DC—January 19, 2018--Today the Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org) the nation's largest faith-based association of physicians and other health professionals, said a new proposed rule announced today by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS OCR) will help protect patient access to healthcare.
The rule will enforce 25 existing statutory conscience protections, including major pieces of legislation passed by significant bipartisan majorities over the years since the 1973 Roe V. Wade Supreme Court decision contravened the Hippocratic oath and suddenly made pro-life physicians vulnerable to discrimination and job loss for declining to participate in what suddenly became a legal procedure nationwide.
CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens noted, "There are already laws on the books, and this proposed rule will help address the injustices that those laws were designed to prevent. Our members have been discriminated against and some have even lost positions for speaking out."
CMA Vice President for Government Affairs and Director of Freedom2Care, Jonathan Imbody, explained, "Polling indicates that faith-based physicians will be forced to leave medicine if coerced into violating the faith tenets and medical ethics principles that guide their practice of medicine. These faith-based health professionals do not and cannot separate the faith principles that motivate them to help others and serve the needy from the faith principles that uphold the sanctity of human life.
"So conscience protections like the proposed rule announced today are key to not only protecting American freedoms of faith and conscience; they are also key to protecting patient access to principled healthcare."


Thursday, January 18, 2018

Reforming the federal grants process to ensure the best help to the most people

I recently enjoyed the privilege of meeting with USAID chief Mark Green (center) to discuss how the US govt. can work better with faith-based organizations, to partner with to reach the needy overseas. What's needed IMHO is wholesale reformation of a byzantine grants process that favors huge companies that have extensive financial resources--not necessarily to do the best work or to reach the most in need--but resources to hire staff who write slick grant proposals and schmooze with bureaucrats. By contrast, many faith-based ministries operate on shoestring budgets devoted to direct care rather than to financial development.
USAID under Administrator Green is addressing this challenge, and their dedication promises improvements that will extend more effective aid to more individuals. For example, a Broad Agency Announcement now allows interested organizations to submit a two-page expression of interest for grant projects.
Other practical suggestions for reform include:
  1. Provide training for faith-based organizations by government officials and faith-based grantees on how to navigate the grants process, similar to the New Partners Initiative program.
  2. Use the USAID faith-based office to review all relevant grants for faith-friendliness, and provide the office with legal expertise on religious freedom issues.
  3. Include members of the faith community on grant review panels, which injects a faith perspective into the process and also educates reviewers about the process.
  4. Take a look at the current contractors under the Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) system, which as far as I can tell has no explicitly faith-friendly contractors, and see how a large faith-based organization might participate and then be in a position to sub-grant to smaller faith-based organizations. 
The goal is not to get money to any particular organization based on size or ideology but simply to keep the doors open to those organizations capable of doing the best work for the most people.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Essay 4: "Patient autonomy" – The Trojan Horse assault on conscience freedom in healthcare

Editor's Note: This is the fourth essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left. 
Just as the Declaration of Geneva's original commitment in 1948 to honor pre-born life fell to new ideology, so did the original commitment to healthcare professionals' conscience freedom.
The relevant clause in the original Declaration of Geneva read simply,
"I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity."[i]