Trump Administration Final Rule ‘Clarifies Abortion Is Not a Civil Right’

Mexico City Policy
AP/Eric Gay

The Trump administration released its final rule Friday that reversed the Obama administration’s definition of sex discrimination by eliminating both “gender identity” and “termination of pregnancy,” or abortion.

Breitbart News reported Friday on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) restoration of the biology-based definition of sex discrimination, but the final rule also protects health care entities that receive federal funding from being required to participate in or pay for abortions.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said in a statement the new rule “clarifies abortion is not a civil right.”

“President Trump is the most pro-life president our nation has ever seen, and today he delivered another important victory for conscience in America,” she said. “Abortion is not health care and should never be mandated by the government.”

Dannenfelser observed the wide discrepancy between Trump and the Obama/Biden administration on the issue of abortion:

The Obama/Biden administration sought to expand abortion at every turn, even trying to reinterpret federal law to define abortion as a civil right. Since serving in the Obama administration, Joe Biden’s views on abortion have become even more extreme, as he now supports forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand – even brutal late-term abortions.

The new rule’s elimination of “termination of pregnancy” as included in sex discrimination means abortion will no longer be promoted in healthcare law, as it has been in Obamacare, in order to sidestep accusations of “discrimination” based on sex.

“Health care is about saving life, and health care providers should never be forced or coerced into participating in abortion,” said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus:

A federal judge has already recognized that the previous rule under the Obama Administration was an egregious violation of the conscience rights of health care providers. I am grateful that the new rule formally corrects this wrong and reaffirms the many conscience protections under existing law.

In 2016, the Obama administration redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity.

In a lawsuit brought by several states and religious groups, a federal court found the Obama-era rule’s provisions to be contrary to civil rights law, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act.

Planned Parenthood and LGBTQ activist litigation group Lambda Legal condemned the finalized rule with the narrative the Trump administration is victimizing women and the LGBTQ population:

However, Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy adviser for The Catholic Association, said the Obama-era definition of sex discrimination failed to protect the defenseless unborn and young people from dangerous gender surgeries:

Preventing “discrimination on the basis of sex” was intended to ensure that women are treated on a par with men. Changing the definition of sex to mean “gender identity” and to include unfettered access to abortion would not have protected the vulnerable. Instead, it would have made it impossible for doctors to decline to perform ethically problematic procedures (like late-term abortion) and experimental and dangerous ones (like the removal of healthy organs from young patients with gender dysphoria.) Getting the government out of the business of social engineering, and out of the way of sound medical ethics and patient care is a step forward.

Mary Beth Waddell, senior legislative assistant for Family Research Council, explained Friday in a statement the Obama sex discrimination rule forced medical providers “to facilitate gender reassignment surgeries and abortions – even if they believed this was a violation of their conscience or believed it harmful to the patient.”

“The rule finalized today helps protect health care providers from being forced to participate in and perform services that substantially violate their consciences and help protect their patients,” she added. “Family Research Council fully supports these revisions to ensure Obamacare isn’t used as a vehicle to advance transgender or abortion politics.”

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