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Article Category:
Right of Conscience

Plaintiff Christian Medical Association Welcomes Intent of New HHS Rule to Restore Intent of Congress on Sex Discrimination

Washington, DC, May 24, 2019--The 19,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, and today welcomed as "a move toward restoring rationality regarding sex discrimination in healthcare" a new rule proposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that aims to restore the intent of Congress regarding sex discrimination in healthcare.

CMA CEO Designate Dr. Mike Chupp said, "While we and our attorneys are still reviewing this new rule, we welcome the intent of this new proposed rule as a move toward restoring rationality regarding sex discrimination in healthcare. We physicians know that prescriptions and medical procedures differ based on biological sex and that we must base our medical decisions on objective biology—not ideology.

"We will continue as always to care for all patients with compassion and competence while exercising professional, evidence-based medical judgment, adhering to objective ethical standards and at times, exercising conscience based upon moral standards."

CMA is party to a 2016 lawsuit that resulted in a federal court's preliminary injunction against the previous administration's HHS rule that attempted to redefine sex apart from biology to include internal perceptions of sex. Becket represents the CMA in that case. As also noted in that lawsuit, under the previous administration's rule, "HHS declined to add an explicit carve-out for abortion and abortion-related services parallel to the carve-out included in Title IX…."

The new rule, according to an HHS news release today, "proposes a return to the plain meaning of the words used by Congress in prohibiting sex discrimination."

Jonathan Imbody, CMA VP for Government Relations and Director of Freedom2Care, noted, "The proposed rule's stated purpose appears to be in line with what the American people have expressed through their elected representatives in Congress regarding sex discrimination, which is to ensure a level playing field for females and males, and also regarding abortion, which is to preserve conscience freedoms in healthcare.

"In the past, unelected agency officials attempted to use the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) to force an ideological gender agenda upon virtually all healthcare institutions and professionals, regardless of professional judgment, ethical norms or religious convictions. Effective care for patients requires distinguishing biology from ideology."

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