During his campaign for president, and on his transition website, President-elect Donald Trump offered to “protect innocent human life from conception to natural death,” and “protect individual conscience in healthcare.”
Let’s make sure he does it, and the right way.
The Trump administration needs to cancel two regulations in particular.
The first is the infamous Mandate requiring even religiously affiliated institutions to have contraception and some early abortifacients offered free in their health care plans. The feds have not yet stopped chasing and threatening the Little Sisters to force their will on them.
The second is a regulation you may not have heard a lot about yet. It was issued in connection with section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the Department of Health and Human Services. Section 1557 forbids “sex discrimination” in any health program or activity. Obviously, “sex” means discrimination because a person is male or female, and Congress has always been clear about that. The Obama administration’s new rule however, defines “sex” to include – among other things – discrimination based on “termination of pregnancy.” Of course, abortion-friendly judges and regulators will be only too happy to read this to require the provision of, or coverage or referral for, abortion.
The rule has no conscience protection attached. Some people believe that an earlier enacted conscience rule might help (the Weldon Amendment), but the Obama administration has interpreted that rule narrowly so that it would not likely protect us.
The idea that abortion is so essential to women’s freedom that it is “sex discrimination” to fail to embrace abortion is just sick. Any feminism possessed of a heart + rational mind must recoil.
So how do we get the Trump administration to get rid of these awful legacies of the Obama administration? Well, if Congress actually overturns the Affordable Care Act, the regulations attached to it would be out the window. Congress and the President-elect are seriously suggesting that option–but it could take them a while, even years.
In the meantime, how can we protect institutions that object to contraception and abortion coverage? Two ways are possible:
- A Trump administration Health and Human Services Agency might write new regs protecting conscience rights. But remember this requires first, “proposed rules,” then notice and comment periods, then final rules. Time consuming, but it’s a possible avenue.
- A Trump administration could also provide guidance to agencies not to prioritize enforcement of bad rules, while working to replace them with good ones. Also possible.
We need to start making some noise about undoing these regs. Everyone should say something, but medical personnel – nurses, doctors, physicians’ assistants, etc. – are especially welcome!
Are you in?
Call Rep. Tom Price, soon-to-be Secretary of Health and Human Services, at 202-225-4501 during regular business hours.
You can say something like:
“Religious health care providers and employers are still suffering under the HHS Contraception Mandate and the Abortion Mandate under section 1557 of Obamacare. Can Congressman Price let me know how quickly he and the Trump administration can provide relief for the Little Sisters of the Poor and other groups? Thank you!”
You can also send him a fax here: 202-225-4656
Or you can mail him a letter at his Washington DC Office. Letters can often be delayed through the screening process, so it’s important to write ASAP:
Congressman Tom Price
100 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Please let WSFT know when you have reached out.
Keep speaking for yourself!