Larry Flynt | Free Speech Activist

"If you're not going to offend somebody, you don't need the First Amendment."

- Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt

From HUSTLER Magazine

Healthcare “Conscience” Office Is Unconscionable

With multiple reports of harassment against women and an alleged affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, while married to Melania, Donald Trump is hardly a religious man. But that doesn’t stop him from pandering to his loyal holy-roller base.

The latest gift is the newly formed Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Department of Health and Human Services. This new office is tasked with protecting medical professionals who object to treatments they find morally offensive. Federal statutes that legalize this discrimination already exist, but the new HHS cops would give them teeth. How could this affect you or your neighbors?

Critics cite all kinds of bizarre, harmful scenarios: Doctors, nurses and pharmacists obedient to their mysterious Sky God could refuse to provide any kind of birth control services, including prescriptions, abortion and sterilization. Law professor Elizabeth Sepper says, “You could have translators who refuse to translate for a woman undergoing tubal ligation.” Note that abortion is not always an elective procedure— about 700 women die every year from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Sometimes abortion is necessary to save their lives, and healthcare professionals could now refuse to do so and be protected by this administration.

LGBTQ people could also suffer. Many of them confess that they have already encountered discrimination from hostile healthcare providers, who would now be further enabled by the new enforcement office. The Washington Post reported that Roger Severino, director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights “did not rule out” that LGBTQ-related cases could arise, and a department spokesperson told Wired magazine they would not interpret prohibitions on sex discrimination in healthcare to cover gender identity. Religious nuts who believe gay people with HIV deserve the Lord’s punishment would be free to refuse necessary treatment. Assisted suicide, now legal in six states, could also be in jeopardy—sorry, God demands that you suffer excruciating pain until He decides to take you!

Our Constitution does guarantee religious freedom, and this must be respected, as long as those beliefs do not hamper other citizens’ rights or harm society as a whole. No Christian, Jew or Muslim woman is obligated to get an abortion, and no doctor who objects is obligated to perform one—they can go into another field.

This issue goes far beyond the trivial example of holy rollers refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, or issue a gay marriage wedding license—these are life-or-death issues. The first principle of doctors and nurses is to “do no harm.” If their religious beliefs trump that rule, then they should abandon the medical profession.

Folks wearing “Make America Great Again” caps are mostly fools whose lack of tolerance for diverse people is matched only by their lack of tolerance for inconvenient facts. We need to grow up and leave antiquated religious beliefs in the distant past, where they belong, with the catapult, water wheel and chariot.

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