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Planned Parenthood says HHS proposal protecting conscience rights of healthcare providers 'encourages discrimination'

(Wikimedia Commons/Hourick)Planned Parenthood in Houston, Texas

Abortion giant Planned Parenthood has decried the Department of Health Human Services (HHS) proposal that was aimed at strengthening the conscience protections for healthcare providers, claiming that the new rule is "dangerous" and that it "encourages discrimination."

According to Life News, the new rule would require health care providers to inform their employees about protections against religious discrimination on job applications and employee manuals. It would also allow the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) to enforce conscience protections for medical providers.

Planned Parenthood has asserted that the new rule "would allow health care workers to discriminate against patients by citing religious, moral, or personal objections," and stated that it is a "dangerous policy" that could block patients from receiving health care, "simply for who they are, the kind of care they seek, or whom they love."

The organization is encouraging its supporters to submit a comment to the HHS, indicating that they do not support the proposal.

The abortion giant lamented that the proposal would allow medical professionals to deny access to basic health care services, including transgender health services, abortion and birth control.

Planned Parenthood's outgoing President Cecile Richards had also denounced the rule in a fundraising email to members of the organization.

"President Trump continues to outdo himself when it comes to pushing terrible health care policy that will do nothing but hurt patients," Richards stated, as reported by Life News.

"But his latest attack is truly shameful: a proposed rule released by HHS seeks to encourage health care workers to discriminate against patients by refusing to provide care because of religious, moral, or personal objections. Heath care workers might refuse to treat ... a person seeking an abortion," she continued.

Last month, the Trump administration has announced the creation of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the HHS.

The website for the new division specifically mentioned abortion and assisted suicide as procedures for which medical professionals may need conscience protection. Some media outlets have speculated that it would also allow nurses and doctors to request protection against being forced to perform or assist with gender transitions.

Acting HHS Secretary Eric D. Hargan contended that the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division was part of the administration's larger effort to advance religious liberty protections.

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has attempted to introduce measures that were aimed at expanding religious exemptions to HHS policies, such as the Obama-era contraception mandate.

In October, the administration approved two new rules that allowed both for-profit and non-profit organizations to obtain exemptions from the Affordable Care Act law that required employers to provide contraceptive coverage.

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