HHS supports stronger 'provider conscience' options

HHS has proposed new regulations that would strengthen protections offered to doctors and other healthcare providers who refuse to participate in abortions due to religious or moral objections. If enacted, these regulations would require as many as 584,000 healthcare employers to certify in writing that they're complying with several federal laws protecting the conscience rights of healthcare workers. These include a handful of laws enacted over the last 30 years designed to protect "provider-conscience rights," offering providers the freedom to avoid procedures they oppose. One example is a new section that was added to the Public Health Service Act in 1996, which prohibits government organizations from discriminating against healthcare providers that refused to perform abortions and related activities. If HHS's proposed regs go through, employers who violate provider-conscience rules could face a loss of government funding and legal action to recoup federal dollars already paid.

To learn more about the proposed regs:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)

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