Section 1557 is the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. It protects people from discrimination on the basis of their sex in health care. But the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) has proposed a rule implementing Section 1557, which would seriously impede Catholic hospitals, clinics, assisted living facilities, and health care workers from carrying out their work.
HHS is interpreting Section 1557 to impose new mandates about gender identity. According to the rule, it would be considered discrimination for a health care worker or Catholic hospital to object outright to performing gender transition procedures— such as the administration of puberty-blocking drugs or surgery to remove healthy body parts—regardless of whether that objection is a matter of religious belief or clinical judgment. The proposed rule also suggests that the government may refuse to honor the right of health care workers and providers not to perform or participate in abortions. The proposed HHS Section 1557 rule could function as both an abortion mandate and a gender transition procedure mandate.
Your comments can make a difference! Join the USCCB in encouraging the HHS to clarify that “discrimination on the basis of sex” is not an abortion mandate, and that health care workers and medical facilities must be free to conscientiously object to gender transition procedures. Click here to submit comments to HHS.