HHS delays conscience rule


The Department of Health and Human Services said a new rule to protect the conscience rights of health care workers will be delayed until November 1. The rule was previously set to take effect July 22, but “significant litigation” challenging the policy has caused a delay in its implementation.

The administration said that the new rule, which would cover doctors and other medical practitioners objecting to procedures like abortion, sterilization, or facilitating euthanasia, is being held up after being challenged in federal court.

The Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care; Delegations of Authority rule was set to go into effect on July 22. The rule mandates that institutions receiving federal money be certified that they comply with more than two dozen laws protecting conscience and religious freedom rights.