Christian Medical Association
April 20, 2017
Much of the hostility seems to focus on the fact that people of faith often hold convictions on hotly debated topics like abortion, sex and marriage-convictions that differ from some people who do not share in that faith. So if you don't like those convictions, what is the easiest way to beat your religious opponents on these issues? Shut them up, marginalize them, exclude them from the public square. Make them the one group that it's okay to discriminate against. And I would suggest that that way of thinking has resulted in a concerted pressure to reduce religious freedom to something more like religious permission. Religious permission means, okay, you can believe whatever you want-but only as long as you keep it inside the four walls of your church, synagogue or mosque. Your religious views will not be allowed in public. Religious permission means you can sing your little religious songs, pray to whatever gods you imagine inside your head, talk about love and peace and sing around the campfire. But actually living out your religious beliefs, your conscience, your convictions in the public square? Well, that's where religious permission draws the line.
February 3, 2017
By Mark Joseph Stern's Slate account, the ACA regulation in question merely "forbade doctors from discriminating against transgender patients or women who've previously had abortions." He mocks O'Connor for defining "sex" as a binary biological reality. He asserts: "[U.S. District Court Judge Reed] O'Connor held that treating transgender patients-and even insuring transgender patients-‘substantially burdens' insurance companies and hospitals' ‘exercise of religion.'" After reading these accounts, one might find the actual text of O'Connor's order rather anticlimactic. The first thing they might notice is that the decision is clearly, unmistakably focused on protecting religious objectors from performing or supporting sex changes and abortions. That's it. What you won't find anywhere in the order's 46 pages is any mention, or even the slightest hint of a suggestion, that the ruling is intended to allow doctors to refuse treatment to patients for no other reason than because they identify as trans or have had abortions.
February 1, 2017
Last May, the Health and Human Services Department implemented a mandate, which would have required doctors perform gender transition procedures on children - even if they think it would be harmful - and forced "all private insurance companies and many employers to cover gender transition procedures or face severe penalties and legal action." It applied to almost nearly every doctor in the U.S. and would have cost health care providers and taxpayers approximately $1 billion. However, a Catholic hospital system, several states, and an association of nearly 18,000 doctors challenged this regulation and on New Year's Eve, a Texas court struck down this harmful mandate. In a press release, Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket Law, which filed a lawsuit against the regulation commented,"This is a common-sense ruling: The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures on children that the government itself recognizes can be harmful and exempts its own doctors from performing." (orig. pub. 1/25/16)
February 1, 2017
In Franciscan Alliance v. Burwell, a case originating in Texas, Christian medical associations, citing religious liberty, and eight states, citing the Tenth Amendment, sued to stop the Obama administration from forcing them to provide "gender transition surgery" and abortion. The Franciscan Alliance identified itself as providing "faith-based, integrated healthcare," and the Christian Medical Association stated its purpose as "integrating faith with professional practice." The federal district court ruled on the last day of 2016 that "the text, structure, and purpose" of Title IX showed that Congress unambiguously "intended to prohibit sex discrimination on the basis of the biological differences between males and females." Since the passage of Title IX in 1972. Congress had had several legislative opportunities, the court observed, to expand or replace "sex" with "gender." - "If Congress had intended to enact a new, different, or expansive definition of sex discrimination" in the Affordable Care Act, "it knew how to do so." In ruling that the words "sex" and "gender" had different legal meanings, the court also referred to outside sources, including from the gay and transgender community, as in this statement from a transvestite journal, "I, at least, know the difference between sex and gender."
December 31, 2016
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Moments ago a Texas court protected the rights of families and their doctors to make medical decisions for their child free from government bureaucrats' interference. The court ruling comes after eight states, an association of almost 18,000 doctors, and a Catholic hospital system challenged a federal regulation that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes the treatment could harm the child. "This is a common-sense ruling: The government has no business forcing private doctors to perform procedures that the government itself recognizes can be harmful, particularly to children, and that the government exempts its own doctors from performing," said Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket Law, which filed a lawsuit against the new federal regulation. Becket Law defended Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, and the Christian Medical Association from the new government regulation. The States of Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi joined Becket's legal challenge.
December 10, 2016
In July, a lawsuit challenging the Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act from 2013 was filed by the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical Association, which is based in Tennessee. The suit said that Vermont joined Oregon, Washington and California in allowing doctors to prescribe a medication that would allow a terminally ill patient to end their life. But Vermont is the first state that requires all health care professionals to discuss all the patient's options, including the life-ending medication. in a press release sent after the lawsuit was filed, the Alliance Defending Freedom, an Arizona-based advocacy group, described the issue as urging the federal court, "Don't allow Vermont to force us to help kill patients."
November 30, 2016
With the election of 2016 now behind us, we the people now transition to the task of governing ourselves-not only through the leaders we have chosen, but also directly, through government service. With a new administration that has voiced support for pro-life protections and religious freedom, you have an opportunity to help realize those goals by serving in the United States government. Months before the Nov. 8 election, we began working with key contacts in Washington, DC to begin identifying well-qualified, principled health professionals to serve in a 2017 administration. Now that the presidential transition team has kicked into overdrive, we are stepping up efforts to provide names and CVs of individuals willing to consider federal service.
November 1, 2016
The following ten steps outline in broad strokes an approach that a new administration and Congress can take to begin to build a healthcare system driven by proven medical and economic principles.... 7. Enforce the bipartisan conscience laws that protect some of our best doctors from discrimination and job loss simply because they follow the Hippocratic oath and won't participate in abortions, or because they base their decisions about controversial treatments on medical evidence and not government social policy.
October 27, 2016
Rule-makers in Washington, however, want to require doctors to perform "gender-reassignment" procedures even when their professional judgment says no. Political fashion shouldn't trump sound medicine. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) rule, which took effect in July, was challenged last week in a U.S. District Court in Texas by a wide-ranging coalition of church-affiliated hospitals and doctors, and eight states. "With a single stroke of the pen, HHS has created massive new liability for thousands of doctors unless they cast aside their professional judgment, convictions and common sense to perform procedures that can be deeply harmful to their patients," wrote the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing plaintiffs from Texas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Arizona, and Mississippi.
October 26, 2016
Thousands of healthcare providers and eight states are challenging a new federal rule that requires doctors to perform gender transition procedures or treatments even on children. The latest transgender directive from the Obama administration mandates physicians carry out such gender-altering measures even if they believe they could prove harmful or would violate their religious and ethical beliefs. Healthcare providers who refuse to abide by the regulation might face imposing fines and the loss of their jobs. Lori Windham, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a written release, "It is absurd for the government to think it can better decide what is best for a child over parents or a medically trained professional. Doctors should be free to use their best medical judgment and do what is in the best interest of a child, free from political agendas and interference by bureaucrats." The Becket Fund is representing the rule's challengers, which consist of the Christian Medical Association; the Franciscan Network, a group of Catholic hospitals; and the states of Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas and Wisconsin.
October 17, 2016
I've enjoyed the rare opportunity to advise both presidential campaigns this election season, and in each instance I have highlighted the link between First Amendment freedoms and patient access to healthcare. Freedom of faith, conscience and speech in healthcare has come under fire domestically and internationally in recent years, as politicians pander to special interest groups by mandating ideological conformity on issues such as homosexuality and abortion. Regardless of one's stance on controversial social issues, sound practical considerations and compassion for needy patients should quell cries to coerce health professionals - particularly those professionals motivated by their faith - into ideological conformity.
October 12, 2016
Over 45 concerned Congressional representatives, led by Congressman Joe Pitts, wrote a letter to Health & Human Services (HHS) demanding clarification on its recent transgender mandate and how it will interfere in doctor-patient relationships and harm children, especially gay and lesbian children. The letter voices concern that the new HHS transgender mandate forces doctors to perform gender transition procedures on children, even if the doctor believes they could be harmful to the patient, and disregards published medical science and best medical judgment. Members of Congress also highlight the irony of HHS’s refusal to protect decisions that should be left between a family and their doctor considering the government’s own military health plan explicitly protects a doctor’s medical judgement regarding gender transition procedures for service men and women. “Sensitive, difficult medical decisions should be between a family and their doctor, not government bureaucrats,” said Lori Windham, senior counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which filed a lawsuit against the new federal regulation. “Doctors should be free to use their best medical judgment, informed by science and led by their Hippocratic Oath, to do what is in the best interest of a child.”
October 3, 2016
A medical ethics group and a Christian doctors’ group have challenged Vermont regulators who say that doctors must tell patients about assisted suicide or refer them to someone who will. “The government shouldn’t be telling health care professionals that they must violate their medical ethics in order to practice medicine,” said Steven H. Aden, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. The lawsuit’s plaintiffs, the Vermont Alliance for Ethical Healthcare and the Christian Medical and Dental Association, object to state officials’ requirements that could force physicians to refer for assisted suicide under the 2013 assisted suicide law known passed as Act 39, the Patient Control at End of Life Act.
August 24, 2016
Five states and a group of religiously-affiliated hospitals and physicians are suing the Obama administration over a federal mandate that forces doctors to perform gender transition procedures on adults and children against their medical judgment. The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in a Texas federal court, attempts to roll back a rule imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services in May that expanded the interpretation of "sex" under the Affordable Care Act to include "gender identity." "It's a very rare moment in history when the government would force doctors to go against their conscience and their medical judgment and perform procedures that may be deeply harmful to patients," said Luke Goodrich, a lawyer at the Becket Fund, which is representing Franciscan Alliance, a religious hospital network, and the Christian Medical and Dental Associations, two of the parties involved the lawsuit.
New Obama administration rule will fuel prosecution of health professionals who follow biology over ideology
June 23, 2016
If you as a health professional or your healthcare institution stick to the scientific view of male and female as biologically determined, the Obama administration and lawyers around the country now have a new weapon with which to stick it to you. Any health professional or institution that receives federal (HHS) funding and treats or counsels transsexual patients, prescribes hormone therapy, performs procedures related to sexuality or has a gender-specific bathroom, changing facility or shower area will suddenly encounter sweeping new dictates designed to enforce a non-biological, ideological view of human sexuality. Action Opportunity: If you as a health professional and/or your healthcare institution have been or may be affected by these new regulations, please use the Freedom2Care form to let us know.
May 23, 2016
CMA affirms the historic and enduring Christian understanding of humankind as having been created male and female. CMA has concerns about recent usage of the term "gender" to emphasize an identity other than one's biological sex, that is, a sense of self based on subjective feelings or desires of identifying more strongly with the opposite sex or with some combination of male and female. CMA affirms the obligation of Christian healthcare professionals to care for patients struggling with gender identity with sensitivity and compassion. CMA holds that attempts to alter gender surgically or hormonally for psychological indications, however, are medically inappropriate, as they repudiate nature, are unsupported by the witness of Scripture, and are inconsistent with Christian thinking on gender in every prior age. Accordingly, CMA opposes medical assistance with gender transition on the following grounds...
May 6, 2016
One of the groups that signed the letter, Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal aid group, has filed two lawsuits challenging the California rule that has forced churches to pay for elective abortions in their health insurance plans. "California is a perfect example of why this legislation is so necessary," Casey Mattox, Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel, told The Daily Signal. "The administration has failed to enforce federal law and churches are left paying for abortions as a result." Other organizations signed onto the letter include the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christian Medical Association, American College of Pediatricians, Susan B. Anthony List, Family Research Council, and California Nurses for Ethical Standards.
March 24, 2016
The regulations proposed by DOL are objectionable, however, because, without statutory authority and in some respects in direct violation of relevant federal statutes, they-
• define "sex" to include "transgender status" and "gender identity."
• define sex discrimination to include differential treatment on the basis that the individual "identifies with a gender different from that individual's sex assigned at birth."
• define sex discrimination to include differential treatment on the basis that "the individual has undergone, is undergoing, or is planning to undergo, any processes or procedures designed to facilitate the individual's transition to a sex other than the individual's sex assigned at birth."
• define sex discrimination to include "[d]enying individuals access to the bathrooms used by the gender with which they identify."
• fail to recognize or enforce the exceptions to sex discrimination under Title IX, exceptions that are expressly referenced in Section 188 of the WIOA.
March 14, 2016
Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the Catholic health group. On Thursday, the pro-life legal firm said a federal court agreed to allow several pro-life doctor groups to intervene in defense of the Catholic hospital system. These groups are the Catholic Medical Association, the Christian Medical Association and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot spoke in defense of Trinity Health: "No American should be forced to commit an abortion. No law requires faith-based hospitals and medical personnel to commit abortions against their faith and conscience, and, in fact, federal law directly prohibits the government from engaging in any such coercion. In addition, the government can't tie any funding to a requirement that hospitals and health care workers give up their constitutionally protected freedoms."
November 6, 2015
Based on his new book Faith Steps: Moving toward God through Personal Choice and Public Policy, Jonathan Imbody’s lecture explained the importance of Christian participation in the public square. As Jonathan asked, "Why should people who know the difference between good and evil leave government in the hands of those who do not?" Jonathan made a point of emphasizing that Christians must engage culture in terms the culture understands, using the Apostle Paul's message to the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill (Acts 17) as a solid biblical example. "God creates every human being in His image," writes Jonathan. "From a public policy standpoint, this means that we honor and protect human life at every stage of development, especially when individuals cannot protect themselves. From a personal standpoint, it means that as God's image-bearers, we need to walk consistently with His principles if the image we reflect is to help others better understand Him." Be sure to watch the lecture and learn why your involvement in public life is so vital, and how we can make arguments persuasively to our needy culture.
CMA Physicians: Marriage Mandate Requires Congress to Pass Legislation Protecting Conscientious Dissenters
June 26, 2015
"This administration and others may well use the Court's ruling as an occasion to ramp up its drive to enforce ideological conformity, as it is requiring already in federal grants programs. Discrimination against dissenters could easily include physicians who, on the basis of professional expertise or ethical convictions, counsel their patients to save sex for natural marriage, or teach about the health risks of same-sex activity, or decline to recommend a same-sex couple for adopting children. Congress once again needs to protect our First Amendment freedoms of thought and belief, by quickly passing legislation to protect conscientious dissenters from discrimination regarding marriage. We urgently need to pass the federal First Amendment Defense Act."
May 25, 2015
The leadership of Christian believers during the Bush presidency, our efforts to combat human trafficking through faith-based organizations, and Christian volunteers and ministries responding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina serve to illustrate Christians' engagement in the public square. The examples also help frame important questions about the biblical and prudential role of believers and the Church in politics and society: What role, if any, should Christians play in influencing our government and our culture? Does God call Christians to separate from the world for the sake of spiritual purity, or does He call us to engage the world for the sake of others? Is America too far gone in the direction of secularism for Christian influence to turn her toward godly principles?
April 29, 2015
Should pro-life organizations be forced to hire pro-abortion employees? That's the question the House of Representatives will answer on Friday when it votes on a resolution to condemn a measure the District of Columbia City Council approved. A top pro-life advocate in Washington provides more background on what's happened and how RHNDA abrogates the rights of pro-life groups. "RHNDA was adopted by the D.C. City Council late last year and transmitted to Congress on March 6 for a Congressional review period of 30 legislative days. The law will be enacted at the expiration of the 30 day period unless a joint resolution of disapproval is enacted. On April 21 H.J. Res. 43 was approved by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on a party line vote of 20-16," says Jonathan Imbody, Vice President for Government Relations for the Christian Medical Association.
March 14, 2015
A Chicago resident complains in a letter to the editor that Tennessee does not recognize in law the fact that Illinois considers him married to another man; he labels Tennessee's legal definition of marriage a matter of discrimination and inequality. The state of Tennessee retains a constitutional right, highlighted in the Supreme Court's recent Windsor decision, which deemed a federal definition of marriage as usurping states' rights, to determine by objective qualifications and definitions who qualifies for a marriage license. Tennessee also uses objective qualifications to determine which of its citizens can vote, practice medicine, own a gun or teach in public schools.
July 4, 2014
Blind to the irony of its own assertion, The Times opines that the court "absurdly" held that "Hobby Lobby and the other companies qualified as 'persons,'" thus protected by 1st Amendment religious exercise rights. If the 1st Amendment did not apply to companies, The Times would have no right to free speech.
June 30, 2014
"This is a much-needed victory for faith freedoms, because this administration continues its assault on the values of the faith community. We are witnessing increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community to adopt the government's viewpoint in matters of conscience."--David Stevens, CEO of Christian Medical Association
March 25, 2014
By transferring massive power to the administration's federal bureaucracy, Obamacare snatched away decision-making power not only from employers, but also from patients and physicians. Obamacare empowered ideologically driven Obama administration officials to make myriad healthcare decisions for us and our employers, literally down to the level of specific pills. The audacity of this pill-level government decision-making was exposed in the mandate under Obamacare that prescribes the provision of 20 specific contraceptives. The government-mandated, no-exceptions list includes four especially controversial items (Plan B, ella and two intrauterine devices--IUDs) that the FDA notes can end the life of a developing human being.
February 7, 2014
The Times rightly defends but wrongly interprets a federal law that forbids the government from imposing "substantial burdens" on the exercise of religious convictions and requires federal officials to pursue the "least restrictive means" of achieving any "compelling interest." The Times neglects 1st Amendment principles in defending the administration's attempts to force employers with conscientious objections to bow to the government's edict to provide controversial contraceptives and sterilization surgeries.
February 5, 2014
Consider Mr. Obama's relentless campaign to round up everyone from elderly nuns to Mennonite small business owners and force them to obey his Obamacare contraceptives mandate. The issue served as a potent campaign tool to juice up his radical base about a fabricated "war on women." But continuing to push the controversial program on conscientious objectors serves no apparent purpose other than to assert executive power over individual religious freedom.
January 2, 2014
Capping off a disastrous year for the Obama administration and its signature healthcare law debacle, one of President Obama's own appointees to the Supreme Court said the Obama administration for now must put a hold on its drive to force nuns and other religious objectors to provide pills that can end the life of a developing human being.
July 22, 2013
Members of a newly formed coalition of religious charities visited Capitol Hill last week to persuade members of the Senate to back the charitable deduction as they draft recommendations for a massive federal tax overhaul that must be submitted by Friday. The coalition was formed two months ago by the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions and the National Christian Foundation. Its members include such groups as the National Association of Evangelicals, Salvation Army, and World Vision. Jonathan Imbody, vice president of the Christian Medical Association, said his organization had not previously lobbied to protect the charitable deduction. But the approach taken by Mr. Baucus and Mr. Hatch spurred his group to join the coalition. "When you read the letter that says they're starting with a blank slate," Mr. Imbody said, "that's enough to get you going.
February 8, 2013
Mr. Obama undermined any pretense of a compelling health justification for a government mandate by unwittingly observing that 99 percent of women already access contraceptives. His health department dismissed concerns of economic consequences, blithely contending that preventing babies is cheaper than having them.
February 7, 2013
The administration claims -- without proof -- that it's justified forcing insurers to provide products and services for free because it will be cheaper to prevent babies than to deliver them.
January 28, 2013
The first American Congress enshrined religious liberty pre-eminently in the Bill of Rights. Many of those leaders and their fellow patriots who ratified the First Amendment had risked everything they owned and their very lives to win those freedoms. They also recognized that threatening one group’s freedoms, by either restricting or establishing a faith, threatens the freedoms of everyone.
August 25, 2012
David Stevens, MD and CEO of the Christian Medical Association: “What will stop this administration, with its radical pro-abortion agenda, from further undermining conscience rights and pursuing policies that effectively force out of medicine physicians with life-honoring convictions? Who will keep government panels from effectively denying physicians and patients choice about what are the most effective and appropriate medicines, surgeries and treatments? We call on Congress to turn back this law’s assault on our freedoms and restore American values and constitutional principles in health care.”
July 27, 2012
I recently experienced what was by far the most disturbing and bizarre of dozens of White House meetings and events that I've attended--the White House Forum for Faith Leaders in conjunction with the International AIDS Conference 2012.
July 13, 2012
Christian Medical Association CEO Dr. David Stevens interviews Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the HHS mandate in the Affordable Care Act, conscience rights and religious liberty.
July 5, 2012
Reforming health care is unquestionably challenging, but it's not brain surgery. It works best when following basic principles most kindergartners learn: Help others up when they've fallen, keep your hands off other people's stuff and save your lunch money for when it's needed.
June 29, 2012
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List: "From the outset, Obamacare is fundamentally flawed legislation because it makes American taxpayers complicit in the deaths of countless unborn children. Today's decision to uphold the individual mandate to force individuals to purchase health care plans that offend their conscience is incredibly disappointing."
June 29, 2012
Christian Medical Association director David Stevens warned that forcing employers and individuals with faith-based convictions to subsidize abortion or life-ending contraceptives would lead to “huge faith fines on those of us who resist.”
June 29, 2012
Dr. Gene Rudd, senior vice president of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), says the high court decision basically endorses the healthcare law, which will lead to a severe encroachment on the rights of conscience and the exercise of religion.