AFC and Pride Action Tankstrongly condemn the announcement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division (CRFD) in the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). The Trump administration and HHS announced the CRFD will be tasked with “restoring federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom.”
To those that work and promote health equity we know this act is intended to roll back critical protections that ensured people living with and vulnerable to HIV, women, LGBTQ individuals and other marginalized populations could not be denied medical care. The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division will now use federal dollars to shield providers who choose to discriminate, instead of prioritizing vulnerable patients and provide services to improve their health is counter to the mission of HHS, wasteful of scarce federal funds, and will result in delayed or lack of care for vulnerable individuals, threatening their health and lives.
We call on the Trump administration and HHS to reverse this decision immediately!