CMDA's The Point

National Poll: Faith-based Health Professionals Care for All but Need Conscience Protections on Moral Issues

October 3, 2019
Conscience Poll Doctors

by Jonathan Imbody

Faith-based health professionals care with compassion and respect for all patients, but they will leave medicine rather than violate their conscience if forced to participate in morally objectionable procedures and prescriptions.


I recently delivered that message from our members, based on a professionally conducted poll, at the White House to the President’s advisors; at the U.S. Capitol to Congressional staffers; at a U.S. House of Representatives office to legislators and staffers; and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to agency officials.


The survey, a nationwide poll of faith-based health professionals, conducted by Heart and Mind Strategies, LLC, found that 91 percent said they would have to “stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience.” That finding holds significant implications for millions of patients, especially the poor and those in underserved regions who depend upon faith-based health facilities and professionals for their care.


The survey of faith-based health professionals also found that virtually all care for patients “regardless of sexual orientation, gender identification, or family makeup, with sensitivity and compassion, even when I cannot validate their choices.” The finding puts the lie to the charge that somehow conscience protections will result in whole classes of patients being denied care.


“Faith-based health professionals actually seek out and serve marginalized patients to provide compassionate care,” explained CMDA CEO Emeritus Dr. David Stevens in a news release. “All we ask as we serve is that the government not intrude into the physician-patient relationship by dictating that we must do controversial procedures and prescriptions that counter our best medical judgment or religious beliefs.”


Key poll findings include:

  • Faith-based health professionals need conscience protections to ensure their continued medical practice.
  • Conscience-driven health professionals care for all patients.
  • Religious professionals overwhelmingly support a biological—not ideological—definition of sex.
  • Religious health professionals face rampant discrimination.
  • Access for poor and medically under-served patient populations depends on conscience protections.

Detail on the poll of faith-based professionals can be found at


CMDA is currently represented by the Becket law firm in two cases on which this poll has bearing: Franciscan Alliance v. Azar, which addresses an Affordable Care Act transgender mandate, and New York v. HHS, which addresses a new federal conscience protection rule.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently introduced two new regulations on which the poll has bearing: a final conscience protection rule and a proposed gender rule. For more information on these rules, see and click on Regulations.


About Jonathan Imbody

Jonathan previously served as CMDA's Federal Policy Analyst and as CMDA's liaison with the federal government in Washington, D.C. A veteran writer of more than 30 years, Jonathan authored Faith Steps, which encourages and equips Christians to engage in public policy issues. He has published more than 100 commentaries in The Washington Post, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Chicago Sun-Times and many other national publications. Jonathan's writing focuses on public policy issues including freedom of faith, conscience and speech; human trafficking; abortion; assisted suicide; stem cell research; the role of faith in health; international health; healthcare policy; sexual risk avoidance and HIV/AIDS. Jonathan received his bachelor's degree in journalism and speech communications from the Pennsylvania State University, a master's degree from Penn State in counseling and education and a certificate in biblical and theological studies from the Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. Jonathan's wife Amy is an author and leads the Redemptive Education movement. They have four children and four grandchildren.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar Skip Roy on October 31, 2019 at 7:25 pm

    Jonathan, thanks so much for your hard work on behalf of us healthcare professionals with respect th the right of conscience. I am a practicing PT, a Penn State Undergrad (before you were born) and volunteer at 2 faith based clinics in our community. As a CMDA/CPRP member right of conscious matters a lot to me and if I were forced to participate in practices that violate my personal religious convictions I would just retire. That would leave hundreds of under served patients in our community without access to PT care. Thanks again for what is such important work.

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