Trump administration gives health workers who oppose abortion new protections

Donald Trump speaking
The Trump administration has created a new division with HHS's Office for Civil Rights to protect health workers who have moral or religious objections to providing services to patients. (Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0)

As expected, the Trump administration announced an action today that will protect doctors and other healthcare workers who have moral or religious objections to performing abortions, treating transgender patients or providing other services.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a new “conscience and religious freedom division” in the HHS Office for Civil Rights. The new division “has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom,” HHS said in an announcement.

RELATED: Trump would protect healthcare providers with moral objections to abortion, treating transgender patients

Free Daily Newsletter

Like this story? Subscribe to FierceHealthcare!

The healthcare sector remains in flux as policy, regulation, technology and trends shape the market. FierceHealthcare subscribers rely on our suite of newsletters as their must-read source for the latest news, analysis and data impacting their world. Sign up today to get healthcare news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

That action will no doubt be controversial, winning support from groups in favor of protecting healthcare workers’ moral and religious convictions and those who say it allows discrimination against patients. The American Civil Liberties Union has already said it will fight the action in court.

Representative Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., told The New York Times at an event announcing the new office, “No nurse or doctor should lose her job, her livelihood or her profession because of her faith.”

Suggested Articles

Humana filed suit Friday against more than a dozen generic drugmakers alleging the companies engaged in price fixing.

Ochsner Health System is partnering with Color to launch a population health pilot program to integrate genetic information into preventive care.

Nominations are open for our 2020 FierceHealthcare Fierce 15 awards. Think your company has what it takes? Submit your nominations here.