HHS Actions to Protect Conscience Rights of Americans
Following comments submitted by NACN-USA and many other organizations in November and December (see below), in January 2018 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced:
Two major actions to protect life and conscience rights of Americans:
- New guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. The letter issued rescinds 2016 guidance that specifically restricted states’ ability to take certain actions against family-planning provider that offer abortion services.
- HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced a new proposed rule to enforce 25 existing statutory conscience protections for American involved in HHS-funded programs, which protect people from being coerced into participating in activities that violate their consciences, such as abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide. Read more about it here.
The formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable right of conscience and religious freedom Read more about it here.