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Friday, December 7, 2018

Essay 12: Can transgender activism silence science?


Drastic? "The Trump administration is
considering narrowly defining gender
as a biological, immutable condition
determined by genitalia at birth...."
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash
The New York Times recently published apparently leaked information about plans at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to adjust a 2016 transgender mandate. The adjustment involves reverting to the original Congressional statutory meaning of "sex discrimination" as discrimination based on biological sex.
Under the hyperbolical headline, "Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration," the "news" story in the Times opined,
"The Trump administration is considering narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, the most drastic move yet in a government-wide effort to roll back recognition and protections of transgender people under federal civil rights law."[1]
A TIME magazine article quoted Diana Flynn, litigation director for Lambda Legal: 
"If this administration wants to try and turn back the clock by moving ahead with its own legally frivolous and scientifically unsupportable definition of sex, we will be there to meet that challenge."[2]
The supposedly radical and "legally frivolous and scientifically unsupportable definition of sex" that LGBT activists are protesting and HHS is considering is this: Male and female sex are biological facts determined by chromosomes.
Following the incendiary tone of the Times, the Associated Press headlined its story, "Fury Over Reported Federal Plan Targeting Transgender People." The AP wrote that "LGBT leaders across the U.S. reacted with fury" and reported that "activist leaders, speaking amid posters reading '#Won'tBeErased', later addressed a protest rally outside the White House."[3]
The rhetoric of activists and their media allies exceeds hyperbole. HHS is not remotely capable or desirous of defining anyone out of existence. HHS is simply bound to follow the law as it is written by Congress--not as imagined or wished by activists and ideologues.
To that end, HHS has been working on a new rule to correct a radical regulatory overreach involving a radical misconstrual of the clear intent of Congress in laws concerning "sex discrimination." Prodding that correction is a December 31, 2016 federal court ruling in favor of the Christian Medical Association and others, including five states, who had sued HHS to halt an Obama transgender mandate regulation that violated both medical judgment and religious freedom.

Leapfrogging a political agenda over science and religion

The previous administration asserted that by "sex discrimination"
Congress must have meant something well beyond
biologically male and female.
Photo by Kevin Gent on Unsplash
In the waning weeks of their power, the previous administration threw caution and medical research to the wind with a reckless regulation that leapfrogged a political agenda over sound science. Were it not for the federal court's preliminary injunction, doctors and health organizations nationwide today would be forced to comply with a coercive transgender mandate.
In May 2016, HHS issued a new rule[4] that would require physicians and hospitals to perform potentially harmful transgender medical procedures whether or not those procedures fulfilled patients’ best interests according to medical judgment.
To arrive at that conclusion, first the administration reinterpreted decades-old law prohibiting sex discrimination (such as in boys' versus girls' sports in schools) as applying to "gender identity issues." Congress, however, had given no evidence when passing the anti-discrimination law of envisioning any such radical application.
Having redefined the law to suit an ideological agenda, HHS officials then moved to eliminate doctors’ medical judgment, requiring every health professional and institution to perform potentially harmful transgender medical procedures do or else be deemed guilty of “discrimination” and subject to face serious penalties.

Ideology trumps freedom of conscience and speech

HHS: "A covered entity may not deny or limit health services."
Photo by Piron Guillaume on Unsplash
Not satisfied with mandating that health professionals violate their medical judgment, HHS officials went a step further, dictating even the speech of health professionals:
"For example, a provider’s persistent and intentional refusal to use a transgender individual’s preferred name and pronoun and insistence on using those corresponding to the individual’s sex assigned at birth constitutes illegal sex discrimination if such conduct is sufficiently serious to create a hostile environment" [emphasis added].[5]
Other examples of the coercive nature of the new rule, quoted from the text of the regulation and accompanying commentary by HHS officials, include (emphases in italics are added and my comments are bracketed):
·         "…a covered entity may not deny or limit health services [e.g., hormone treatments or hysterectomies] that are ordinarily or exclusively available to individuals of one sex, to a transgender individual based on the fact that the individual's sex assigned at birth, gender identity, or gender otherwise recorded is different from the one to which such health services are ordinarily or exclusively available."
·         "We believe that it is important to ensure that civil rights protections are extended to transgender individuals to afford them equal access to health coverage, including for health services related to gender transition."
·         "…an exclusion or limitation [that] systematically denies services and treatments for transgender individuals is prohibited discrimination" [e.g., a policy declining to do transgender surgeries on children].

Rule ignores research-based medical caution

From a medical perspective, the brash new rule flew in the face of the administration's own medical board which, based upon medical research, had advised against requiring coverage of gender transition surgical procedures under Medicare and Medicaid.
As reported in connection with the Christian Medical Association's successful lawsuit to stop the transgender mandate,
Along with physical impacts like heart conditions, increased cancer risk, and loss of bone density, the peer-reviewed longitudinal studies of children with gender dysphoria (that HHS accepted as valid) found that fewer than 1-in-4 children referred for gender dysphoria continued to experience that condition into adulthood. Some grew out of it, but many of the children ended up realizing that they were not transgender but instead gay or lesbian.[6]

Prioritizing ideology precludes reasonable accommodation of dissent

"[We] decline to adopt a blanket
religious exemption...."
HHS officials refused pleas by faith-based organizations, submitted during the rule's public comment period, for specific religious freedom exemptions from the transgender mandate:
"[We] decline to adopt a blanket religious exemption in the final rule as any religious concerns are appropriately addressed pursuant to pre-existing laws such as RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] and provider conscience laws."[7]
Existing law is only as good as its enforcement. Unfortunately, victims of illegal discrimination because of their religious beliefs could only depend for relief upon the Office of Civil Rights at HHS—the very agency that declined to provide explicit religious freedom exemptions.

Court intervenes on behalf of Christian Medical Association and others

Faced with a frontal assault on the conscience freedoms and medical judgment of its over 19,000 members, the nonprofit Christian Medical Association teamed up with the Franciscan Alliance health organization and the states of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky and Kansas to file suit in federal court to stop the madness. Becket, which successfully defended the Little Sisters of the Poor in a landmark Supreme Court case against the Obamacare contraceptives mandate, represented the health organizations in federal court.
CMA court case ruling: "Congress intended to
prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of
the biological differences between males and females."
Thankfully, the federal court agreed with the plaintiffs and intervened to issue a preliminary nationwide injunction to stop implementation of the mandate.[8]
In his ruling handed down on December 31, 2016, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor observed,
"[The Christian Medical Association's] approved Ethics Statement affirms the 'obligation of Christian healthcare professionals to care for patients struggling with gender identity with sensitivity and compassion' but states clear opposition to medical assistance with gender transition and abortion. CMA members treat transgender individuals for health issues ranging from the common cold to cancer, and several members have already received requests for transition-related procedures that they cannot provide without violating their religious beliefs."
Judge O'Connor also addressed the issue of expanding Congress's intent for the statutory (Title IX) definition of "sex discrimination":
"It is also clear from Title IX’s text, structure, and purpose that Congress intended to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of the biological differences between males and females."
The federal court concluded that "the Rule imposes a substantial burden on Private Plaintiffs’ religious exercise," noting that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, "the government bears the burden to show the Rule satisfies strict scrutiny—i.e., 'demonstrate that the application of the burden to the person represents the least restrictive means of advancing a compelling interest.'"
The court ruled in favor of CMA and the other plaintiffs and issued a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop the coercive transgender mandate:
"Defendants [HHS] are hereby enjoined from enforcing the Rule’s prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender identity or termination of pregnancy."
Since that decision, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has assured the court and plaintiffs that it is working to amend the Obama administration's rule that triggered the lawsuit. Publication of a new rule is considered imminent.


End Notes

[1] ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration," New York Times, October 21, 2018.
[2] "'I'm Protecting Everybody,' President Trump Says After Reports His Administration Wants to Strip Transgender Protections," TIME magazine, October 22, 2018. Accessed online November 1, 2018 at http://time.com/5431443/donald-trump-transgender-protections/.
[3] "Fury Over Reported Federal Plan Targeting Transgender People," The Associated Press, October. 22, 2018. Accessed online October 24, 2018 at https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2018/10/22/us/politics/ap-us-transgender-rights-.html.
[4] "Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Proposed Rule, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act," U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, May 18, 2016. Accessed online September 4, 2018 at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/05/18/2016-11458/nondiscrimination-in-health-programs-and-activities.
[5] Department of Health and Human Services, p. 31406.
[6] www.transgendermandate.org, Becket Law, accessed August 17, 2018.
[7] "Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities," Department of Health and Human Services, 45 CFR Part 92 RIN 0945–AA02, p. 31435.
[8] See "Court strikes down harmful transgender mandate," Becket Law, https://www.becketlaw.org/media/court-strikes-harmful-transgender-mandate/. Accessed August 17, 2018.

Monday, November 5, 2018

When transgender ideology drives research


Even researchers who support transgenderism in adults experience attacks when raising researched concerns about children transitioning from one sex to another.
Dr. Debra Soh
In a Los Angeles Times commentary entitled, "Are gender feminists and transgender activists undermining science?," sexologist and Playboy.com contributor Dr. Debra Soh writes,
"Currently available research literature — including four studies published in the last nine years — suggests that 61% to 88% of gender dysphoric children will desist and grow up to be gay adults. (Or, in my case, a straight adult). They won't continue to identify as the opposite sex in adulthood. In one study of 139 gender dysphoric boys, 122 (88%) of the boys desisted. While transitioning can be beneficial for transgender adults, it therefore doesn't make sense to treat trans children in the same way.
"Nevertheless, transgender activists and their allies have branded desistance as a "myth," and those who suggest otherwise are called bigots or, dismissively, trolls.
"Distortion of science hinders progress. When gender feminists start refuting basic biology, people stop listening, and the larger point about equality is lost.
"But ignoring the science around desistance has serious consequences; it means some transgender children will needlessly undergo biomedical interventions, such as hormone treatments.
"…[I]t's never a good idea to dismiss scientific nuances in the name of a compelling argument or an honorable cause. We must allow science to speak for itself."[1]
Dr. Soh eventually left academia because it was no longer a place to pursue and proclaim truth. In a video interview, she noted,
"As to my decision to leave academia, In the last two years I had noticed that things were starting to go a bit weird, in terms of the climate."[2]
Her concern increased when media reports kept heralding the supposedly wonderful benefits to children of transitioning from one sex to another, despite the fact that scientific research finds otherwise. Dr. Soh explains,
"Research shows that the majority of kids that are gender dysphoric actually outgrow their feelings. So it makes sense for them to wait—not to transition at a young age. So I wanted to write a mainstream piece about this.
"And there's been a very long history between transgender activists and sex researchers—a very ugly history of activists going after sex researchers if they don't like what someone's study says or what they say publicly.
"So I thought about it for a long time. I wrote the piece and I sat on it for probably about six months. I wasn't sure if I wanted to put it out.
"I asked a bunch of colleagues and my mentors, and they all said, 'You know what, the science is solid, but you know what's going to happen if you do put this out.
"And at the time, I wanted to stay in academia, and I said, 'Shall I wait until I get tenure?' And everyone told me, 'Even if you have tenure, nowadays it's not a good protector. You can still lose your job.'
"So I decided, actually, that I couldn't stay quiet. And I thought, 'I'm not going to stay in an environment where I can't speak the truth and I can't even pursue questions that are meaningful anymore because I have to worry about who's going to get mad, and then I'm going to lose my money—my funding—and I'm going to lose my job.
"So that piece went out. It's called, 'Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition.'[3]"And then I haven't looked back since."[4]




[1] Debra W. Soh, "Are gender feminists and transgender activists undermining science?" Los Angeles Times, February 10, 2017. Accessed online October 24, 2018 at http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-soh-trans-feminism-anti-science-20170210-story.html.
[2] The Rubin Report interview with Debra Soh, "Sex Research, Asian Discrimination, and #MeToo (Debra Soh Full Interview), August 10, 2018. Accessed online October 24, 2018 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhDZMwR9eQ.
[3] Debra Soh, Ph.D., "Why Transgender Kids Should Wait to Transition," Pacific Standard, September 1, 2015, accessed online October 24, 2018 at https://psmag.com/social-justice/why-transgender-kids-should-wait-to-transition. Also reprinted at Wall Street Journal, September 4, 2015 at https://www.wsj.com/articles/notable-quotable-transgender-children-1441406728, accessed October 24, 2018.
[4] The Rubin Report interview with Debra Soh, "Sex Research, Asian Discrimination, and #MeToo (Debra Soh Full Interview), August 10, 2018. Accessed online October 24, 2018 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkhDZMwR9eQ.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Essay 11: The pursuit of truth—not politics—should guide research

Paralleling politics, an  intense conflict rages
in the scientific and research community.

Editor's Note: This is the 11th essay in a series on conscience in healthcare, by Freedom2Care Director Jonathan Imbody. For the other essays, click "ConscienceEssay" on Topics at left.

The contentious confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh mirrored a less outwardly raucous, though equally intense, conflict in the scientific and research community. Our country, our culture and the scientific community appear at a crossroads. We are determining the extent to which objectivity, evidence and reason--as opposed to bias, ideology and emotion--will shape our conclusions and our policies.

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."