Under federal regulations proposed last week, a hospital aide could refuse to wheel a patient to her car after she receives an abortion. A hospital clerk could choose not to process the paperwork of a patient who had her tubes tied after giving birth.
The Trump administration created a new division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) called the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division last Thursday. It would ensure that health care providers and their agents would not be penalized for refusing to perform such tasks based on religious or moral objections. Hospitals that refuse to comply could lose their federal funding.
The draft regulations are 216 pages long and came as a surprise to many, according to Jody Rabhan, director of the Washington operations at the National Council of Jewish Women.