The Nevada Independent
Republican gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Adam Laxalt has signed on to a letter supporting a new set of regulations that aims to protect health workers who don’t want to perform abortions, help transgender patients transition or take other actions because of religious or moral objections.
Laxalt joined 16 other attorneys general in signing the March 27 letter to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The letter lauds the “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority” regulations, saying it’s important to return to obeying conscience protections enacted by Congress and restore the rule of law in Washington. . . [Full Text]
Dr. William Spaulding, a former president of the Nebraska Psychological Association, has criticized the proposed Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act because it does not force health care workers to refer for services or procedures to which they object for reasons of conscience. The bill requires an objector to disclose that moral or religious beliefs prevent him from providing treatment so that the patient can seek assistance elsewhere, but does not force them to assist patients to find someone willing to provide the contested service.
Spaulding claims that an objector may refuse to treat a distraught patient who is involved in homosexual activity or who has homosexual inclinations by saying, “I have a religious belief against you and you have a moral problem.”
He refuses a compromise by which patients are provided a general list of alternative practitioners without specific referral to someone willing to affirm and support homosexuality, asserting, “Compromising on prejudice is not a compromise.” [Star Herald]
Testimony of Anna R. Franzonello | . . .I have thoroughly reviewed LB 564, which provides protection—and an adequate enforcement mechanism—for healthcare providers’ freedom of conscience. I am testifying in this proceeding as an expert in constitutional law and as an expert on laws respecting the freedom of conscience. I appreciate this opportunity to testify as to the constitutionality of LB 564 and the necessity of protecting the freedom of conscience of healthcare providers. . .
Testimony of Clyde R. Meckel, MD |
Thank you for the opportunity to testify in support of LB564- the Health Care Freedom of Conscience Act. The purpose of this bill is to respect and protect the fundamental right of conscience of licensed individuals who provide health care. This is a critical matter of protecting one of our most fundamental liberties.
Opposition to LB461 from various sources, including the Nebraska Board of Medicine and Surgery, the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Nebraska Psychological Association is generating resistance to the bill in the legislature, and may prevent the bill from proceeding further. Supporters of the bill include Family First of Nebraska, Nebraska Catholic Conference, Americans United for Life and the Nebraska Family Council.[Omaha World Herald; Associated Press]
Nebraska, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Florida and Texas have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and the U.S. Department of Labor and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. The suit alleges violation of the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act through the HHS birth control mandate that will force insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives and embryocides.[CNN]
Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has written to Attorneys General in the other 49 US states inviting them to join a court case that will be launched by Nebraska to stop the Obama administration from forcing objecting employers to pay for insurance coverage for surgical sterilization, contraceptives, and embryocidal drugs. He described the adminstration regulation as “an unconscionable intrusion on religious liberties.” [Associated Press]