The Secular Coalition for America released a statement today in response to the formation of a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. According to its new web page, the stated purpose of the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division is to “restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”
Statement by Larry T. Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America
“Today’s decision by the Acting Secretary of Health and Human Services to create a Conscious and Religious Freedom Division is a reflection of this Administration’s desire to harm people who disagree with them on health-related issues, including women’s reproductive and LGBTQ health. No one’s medical choices should be limited by somebody else’s religious beliefs. We expect our doctors to prescribe us medical care based on their professional expertise, not their religious opinions. This action will undermine the trust between patient and doctor, inserting religion into a conversation that should be based on medical science and the best interests of the patient. Patients in need of time-sensitive and urgent care may now find themselves without recourse if their medical choices conflict with the religious opinions of their healthcare provider.”
“This move by the Trump Administration does not protect conscience but instead weaponizes it, turning religious belief into yet another barrier between vulnerable patients and the health care they need. The right to conscience does not include the right to impose your conscience on others. Today’s announcement proves once again that the Trump Administration does not understand the difference between ‘religious freedom’ and ‘religious privilege.’ Unfortunately, the cost of this confusion will be felt by patients across the country who find their medical needs weighed against their health care provider’s religious opinions.”
Contact: Casey Brescia
Communications Associate and Spokesman
[email protected], (845)-380-6201
The Secular Coalition for America is the nation’s premier advocacy organization representing atheists, humanists, agnostics, and other nontheists. Its mission is to increase the visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints in the United States, and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all. The Secular Coalition represents 18 voting member organizations.