WASHINGTON, D.C., May 24, 2019—Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, welcomed important religious liberty and pro-life reforms proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to Obama-era regulations issued under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The previous administration’s regulations issued in 2016 attempted to redefine discrimination “on the basis of sex” to include both gender identity enforcement and the right to terminate a pregnancy. This regulatory change never went into effect because it was immediately enjoined by a federal court after a challenge from a group of states and healthcare entities. Today’s proposed reforms by HHS aim to ensure that the regulatory framework regarding discrimination in healthcare is in line with both legislative text and judicial order.
ERLC President, Russell Moore, praised this regulatory action:
“I’m thankful to HHS for restoring common sense and a natural reading of the English language to this regulation. The previous Administration’s rule here was beyond troubling. The previous rule lorded over consciences irresponsibly with a regulatory fiat disconnected from the legislation approved by the people’s elected lawmakers. Moreover, health care should be protecting and honoring human life, including that of unborn children, not endangering it. We should also respect the consciences of nurses and physicians not to be forced to participate in taking innocent human life. I’m glad to see this change.”