While the 24-hour news cycle is currently busy chewing through President Trump’s health report, another significantly important health story is gaining traction. According to Politico, the White House is reportedly reviewing a new proposal from the Department of Health and Human Services that would protect doctors and healthcare workers from performing abortions, serving transgender patients, and other procedures and practices they might have “moral objections” to. Considering Trump and the GOP’s previous stances on abortion and transgender rights specifically, the news isn’t all that surprising.
Under a proposed rule — which has been closely guarded at HHS and is now under review by the White House — the HHS office in charge of civil rights would be empowered to further shield these workers and punish organizations that don’t allow them to express their moral objections, according to sources on and off the Hill.
Unsurprisingly, HHS did not respond to the outlet’s repeated requests for comment. Even so, the Republican-controlled Congress and current administration’s respective policies regarding abortion, transgender rights, and other matters relating to healthcare are well documented. In July 2016, during the middle of the presidential election that put Trump in office, the House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) that essentially “[shielded] healthcare providers who refuse to perform the [abortion] procedure on religious grounds.”