CNA Staff, Dec 17, 2020 / 11:00 am
Leading U.S. bishops applauded the Trump administration Thursday for enforcing conscience protections in health care.
At the White House on Wednesday, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Alex Azar said the agency would withhold $200 million in Medicaid funds to California over its mandate that employers cover abortions in health plans—despite the objections of pro-life and Christian organizations subject to the mandate.
The administration also announced it would be enforcing another case through the HHS Office for Civil Rights on Wednesday. The Justice Department will file a lawsuit against the University of Vermont Medical Center, after a nurse was reportedly forced to assist in an abortion there, and after the hospital refused to adjust its policy to allow for conscientious opt-outs for staff opposed to abortions.
In response, on Thursday the U.S. bishops’ religious freedom and pro-life chairs—Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City—praised the actions as “concrete steps to enforce long-standing and fundamental civil rights laws.”