HHS Announces New Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2018
Contact: Mallory Quigley, mquigley@sba-list.org, 202-223-8073

Trump Admin Moves to Strengthen & Enforce Protections for Pro-life Health Care Professionals

Washington, D.C. –  Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division under the Office for Civil Rights. The new division is tasked with addressing discrimination against health care providers who do not want to participate in abortion. The announcement comes the day before the hundreds of thousands of Americans come to Washington for the annual March for Life, which President Trump will address via live-stream.

Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) President Marjorie Dannenfelser welcomed the news:

“We thank President Trump for standing up in bold defense of conscience rights. This Administration realizes that abortion is a highly controversial, brutal act against unborn children and their mothers and affirms the right of all Americans not to be forced to participate in abortion. This is a welcome change from the Obama administration’s stubborn refusal to enforce federal laws that prohibit discrimination against health care entities.

“We also urge the administration to release new regulations further clarifying the laws this division will enforce. This is an essential step to protect pro-life nurses like Cathy DeCarlo, who was threatened with the loss of her job if she didn’t assist in a traumatic late-term abortion, and other health care professionals from being forced to participate in the destruction of innocent lives. We also continue to urge Congress to enact a private right of action so victims will be able to seek relief in court regardless of who is in the White House.”

President Trump has made four specific commitments to the pro-life movement.

Susan B. Anthony List and its partner super PAC, Women Speak Out spent more than $18 million in the 2016 election cycle, knocking on more than 1.1 million doors in battleground states to defeat Hillary Clinton and maintain a pro-life Senate. SBA List is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women.  The SBA List is a network of more than 600,000 pro-life Americans nationwide.

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