Administration Establishes “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” That Threatens Women’s Power to Decide

Press release

Administration Establishes “Conscience and Religious Freedom Division” That Threatens Women’s Power to Decide

January 24, 2018
New HHS Division Is Harmful For Women

(Washington, D.C.) —The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently created a new office that will allow health care providers to deny services based on the provider’s moral or religious convictions. The new office, the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, was established to “protect” health care providers who feel pressured to “perform, accommodate or assist with” procedures and services that contradict their religious beliefs.

In response to this announcement, Power to Decide’s CEO Ginny Ehrlich issued the following statement:

“HHS’s core mission is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans. Enabling health care providers to refuse to provide health services and support based on their beliefs rather than the health needs of their clients runs counter to HHS’s mission and violates a person’s power to decide what health services and support is right for them. This is yet another example of the Administration’s recent efforts to deny access to basic health care for women, LGBTQ individuals, and other vulnerable populations. We are most concerned about the impact this will have on access to the full range of birth control methods and emergency contraception. We urge health care providers to do what’s best for their clients—no matter who they are or where they live—by honoring their rights to make their own decisions about their sexual and reproductive health.”

Power to Decide is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization that works to ensure all people—no matter who they are, where they live, or what their economic status might be—have the power to decide if, when, and under what circumstances to get pregnant. Please visit us at www.PowerToDecide.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.