Conscience and Religious Freedom Division

Many journalists quick to slam religious freedom for doctors -- for all the wrong reasons

Many journalists quick to slam religious freedom for doctors -- for all the wrong reasons

Sometimes I wish so many  journalists weren’t so predictable.

The announcement for the new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Department of Health and Human Services was barely 24 hours old when a bunch of articles rained down promising everything from massive discrimination against gays to something close to A Handmaid’s Tale.  

The majority of the articles were so focused on the possibility of LGBTQ fallout from this new division that the reporters missed one of the real targets: Planned Parenthood. This Christianity Today article explains why Planned Parenthood is the real victim, as it were, of this HHS development. 

Instead, you have everything from Slate calling the division “organized, insidious form of bigotry” to NBC News saying the new conscience protections puts the rights of providers over that of patients

Here’s how the New York Times explained it:

WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration announced on Thursday that it was expanding religious freedom protections for doctors, nurses and other health care workers who object to performing procedures like abortion and gender reassignment surgery, satisfying religious conservatives who have pushed for legal sanctuary from the federal government…
For religious conservatives, the new protections address long-held concerns that religious people could be forced to comply with laws and regulations that violate their religious beliefs. Roger Severino, the director of the office for civil rights at the Department of Health and Human Services, promised that he and his staff would investigate every complaint of a violation of “conscience rights” protected by federal law.
But civil rights, gay rights and abortion rights groups, as well as some medical organizations, expressed alarm at a move they described as part of a systematic effort by the Trump administration to legitimize discrimination.

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