Biden forcing Catholic, religious entities to violate beliefs with new HHS rule, critics say

Fox News Flash top headlines for May 10

Fox News Flash top headlines are here. Check out what’s clicking on

President Biden, the second U.S. president to identify as Catholic, is coming under fire for a new rule that critics say would force religious doctors to violate their deeply held beliefs about gender.

While some have framed the new Health and Human Services (HHS) rule as a way to combat discrimination, others argue it’s backing religious entities into a corner.

Announced on Monday, HHS’ rule would reverse the Trump administration’s decision to interpret a sex discrimination statute as applying to just biological sex rather than including gender identity or sexual orientation. Advocates say that in doing so, the Biden administration would require federally funded hospitals and insurers to support gender-related treatments and procedures — both of which conflict with Catholic teaching and what other religions believe.

Monday’s announcement maintains that the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will abide by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which restricts the federal government’s ability to burden a citizen’s free exercise of their religion. In justifying the move, HHS cited the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which ruled that sex discrimination included sexual orientation. Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion, however, left room for religious exemptions. 


Still, conservatives have worried about the way the Biden administration interprets existing law. 

Roger Severino, who headed OCR under Trump, said HHS is “threatening to put doctors and hospitals that disagree with current transgender ideology out of business.” Severino serves as a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Institute. Biden’s HHS, he added, is “trying to change the fundamental practice of medicine and science by the stroke of a pen, but will soon learn through lawsuits that sex as a biological reality won’t be so easily erased.”

The decision was approved by HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, who sat on Catholics for Biden, after Biden, whom the White Hosue says is “devout,” issued an executive order with language that raised concerns among hte U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

That order, the bishops said, “threatens to infringe the rights of people who recognize the truth of sexual difference or who uphold the institution of lifelong marriage between one man and one woman. This may manifest in mandates that, for example, erode health care conscience rights or needed and time-honored sex-specific spaces and activities.” They added that Biden’s executive order “exceeds the Court’s decision” in Bostock.


Monday’s announcement was just the latest to raise questions about how much Biden agreed with Catholic doctrine. Within her first few months, his press secretary has already said Biden disagrees with the church on core issues (blessings for same-sex relationships and fetal tissue research), creating an air of unpredictability for Catholic Americans.

“The Biden administration continues to arbitrarily redefine ‘sex’ in administrative actions that regulate the lives of countless Americans,” said Matt Bowman, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom and a former aide to Severino.

In a statement to Fox News, he added: “This action promotes dangerous procedures for minors, threatens to compel medical professionals to contradict their best medical judgment about what promotes patient health and to violate their oath to ‘do no harm,’ and threatens to strip professionals of their ability to continue serving vulnerable populations.”

CatholicVote President Brian Burch similarly blasted the decision, arguing it “turns back the clock on medical sanity.” Burch added that “Catholic hospitals and doctors are likely to come under increased pressure and scrutiny as a result.” 

“Coercing doctors to carry out highly controversial and unproven ‘treatments’ like administering puberty blocking hormones to children and performing irreversible sex changes – against their best medical judgment and conscience – is the latest effort by the Biden administration to force anyone who dissents from its radical ideology into compliance,” said Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy adviser for The Catholic Association.


“Politics has no business in medicine, Americans will be worse off because of this harmful policy.” 

Fox News asked HHS about whether the rule would force religious entities to perform gender-related procedures. In response, the agency said: “HHS will comply with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and all other legal requirements. It will evaluate religious objections on a case-by-case basis and take action accordingly.”

Source: Read Full Article