On April 19, 2022, Politico reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to roll back the Conscience Rights in Health Care Rule. A new regulation rescinding the rule may be released by the end of the month.
Finalized in May 2019, the Conscience Rights in Health Care Rule was designed to provide an enforcement mechanism for 25 federal laws that allow medical professionals to opt out of performing medical services that violate their moral or religious convictions. However, the rule never went into effect; it has been tied up in the courts ever since it was finalized. Instead of letting the litigation process play out, the Biden administration intends to withdraw the rule altogether.
According to Politico, “rescinding the [Conscience Rights in Health Care Rule] is seen by progressive advocates as a key part of dismantling the Trump administration’s legacy on reproductive rights, which Democrats promised to do once they took control of Washington.” A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood reportedly stated that the nation’s largest abortion provider was “‘excited’” by the news that the rule would be rolled back.
In January 2021, the Biden administration rescinded the pro-life Mexico City Policy, which barred federal funds from being directed to foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortion. The Biden administration also decided to withdraw the U.S. from the Geneva Consensus Declaration, which asserts that there is no international right to abortion. Last November, the Biden administration rescinded the Protect Life Rule, which required abortion providers receiving Title X family planning funds to segregate their federally-funded family planning activities from their abortion activities. Now, the Biden administration intends to withdraw the Conscience Rights in Health Care Rule.
For decades, President Joe Biden has asserted that he is personally opposed to abortion. The President certainly has a strange way of showing it.