Bishop Chairmen Applaud HHS Bringing Health Care Nondiscrimination Regulations into Alignment with Federal Law

June 12, 2020 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, have issued a statement welcoming today’s issuance of modifications to regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
 
Their joint statement follows:
 
“We thank the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for promulgating regulations restoring the long-standing position of the federal government that discrimination on the basis of ‘sex’ means just that and does not refer to ‘termination of pregnancy’ nor ‘gender identity.’ These modifications are consistent with the legislative intent of the Affordable Care Act – to ensure no one is discriminated against in health care because of their sex. These regulations will help restore the rights of health care providers – as well as insurers and employers – who decline to perform or cover abortions or ‘gender transition’ procedures due to ethical or professional objections. Catholic health care providers serve everyone who comes to them, regardless of characteristics or background. However, there are ethical considerations when it comes to procedures. We greatly appreciate today’s important action.”
 
A comment letter filed by the USCCB in August, 2019, in support of this rule when it was proposed, may be found here: http://www.usccb.org/about/general-counsel/rulemaking/upload/2019-final-hhs-regs-section-1557.pdf.

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