The Point: Conscience Matters Again


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In 2018 a nurse at the University of Vermont Medical Center filed a formal complaint that she’d been forced to participate in an elective abortion against her religious beliefs.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice of violation to the hospital, specifically federal law known as the Church Amendments.

The hospital must now cooperate with HHS and stop violating employee rights or face the loss of federal funds.

Roger Severino, head of HHS’s Office of Civil Rights, was quoted by The Atlantic asking, “How could we countenance a situation where we allow a federally funded entity to force a medical professional to participate in taking a human life?”

We certainly didn’t hear that kind of language from the last administration. The top priority of the HHS directors under President Obama was forcing contraception on nuns. So far in 2018, HHS has received more than 1,300 complaints of rights of conscience, compared to very few each year under the Obama administration. Maybe religious believers now know they’ll be heard?


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