July 26, 2022

Catholic Medical Association Disappointed After Proposed Removal of Federal Conscience Protection for Health Care Professionals (Rule 1557)

Philadelphia, PA – July 26, 2022 – The Catholic Medical Association is profoundly disappointed with the announcement of the proposed removal of federal conscience protection for those working in health care. With this proposed regulation, the Biden Administration has taken yet another action of blatant government overreach. In 2019, federal regulations were enacted that protected medical professionals from unfounded discrimination if they declined participation in actions contrary to their moral or ethical principles. This protection is at risk of being destroyed with the Biden Administration’s Health and Human Services proposal to rescind these constitutionally sound principles.

The American health care system is already under duress, having worked diligently throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, many of our physicians and other health care professionals are choosing to leave their careers due to government intrusions in their care for others. Further, our potential future medical professionals are opting out of these careers for the same reason. This critical shortage of those who will care for Americans in the years to come will be exacerbated by the Biden Administration’s actions. Why would our best and brightest individuals choose a medical career and its sacrifices knowing that the federal government will dictate what they must or can’t do?

This action is clearly coercive, and a clear violation of First Amendment protections. Forcing medical professionals to perform abortions, gender transition surgeries, or assisted suicide against their moral, religious, and clinical judgment is an assault on their rights and on their patients’ best interests. This action must be opposed by all parties affected, including medical professionals, health systems, hospitals, and patients. 

The CMA also calls on every state legislature to enact strong medical conscience rights and religious freedom protections for their state’s health care professionals. States that do so will not suffer the shortages of physicians, nurses, and others that will develop in states that do not provide such protection. These assaults on the ability to provide the best practices and compassionate care for those who seek our help, advice, and guidance will continue to be combatted, both at the Federal and state levels. The CMA and its many like-minded partner organizations are committed to this fight for conscience rights and religious freedom.

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