Planned Parenthood Calls HHS Rule Protecting Conscience Rights of Healthcare Providers 'Dangerous'

Posted: Feb 01, 2018 4:45 PM
Planned Parenthood Calls HHS Rule Protecting Conscience Rights of Healthcare Providers 'Dangerous'

Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, is encouraging their supporters to tell the Department of Health Human Services (HHS) that a proposed rule to strengthen conscience protections for healthcare providers is “dangerous” and “encourages discrimination.” The rule requires health care providers to notify their employees of protections against religious discrimination on job applications and employee manuals. The rule also allows the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce protections for religious medical providers. 

Planned Parenthood says the rule “would allow health care workers to discriminate against patients by citing religious, moral, or personal objections," calling it a "dangerous policy that could block patients from getting care, simply for who they are, the kind of care they seek, or whom they love.”

“This is yet another attempt by Trump and his extremist allies to promote discrimination and restrict access to health care,” they tell their supporters, encouraging them to “submit a comment to HHS telling them you don't support discrimination in health care.”

The suggested comment claims that the rule “allows providers and other health care workers to deny access to basic health care services, including -- though certainly not limited to -- transgender health services, abortion, and even birth control.”

They say the new rule, along with OCR’s new Conscience and Religious Freedom division, “would turn the office charged with protecting people throughout the country from discrimination into an office that gives health care workers a license to discriminate against people, simply because of who they are or the services they seek.”

While there have been instances of healthcare providers forced to violate their consciences and provide abortions, Planned Parenthood did not comment on a healthcare provider’s right to object to performing procedures that violate their beliefs.

Planned Parenthood’s outgoing president Cecile Richards made similar arguments in a fundraising email earlier this week, calling the proposed rule “shameful.”