White House press secretary Jen Psaki refused to say whether the Biden administration plans to abolish the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Tuesday.
“Pro-life groups right now are very concerned about the phrase ‘pregnancy discrimination,’ in the Equality Act … that it would force doctors to perform abortions even if it violates their conscience,” said Owen Jensen of the Catholic network EWTN during a White House press briefing. “There are also concerns the bill would force doctors to perform gender-transition surgeries and sterilizations again even if it violates their conscience. What does the president, President Biden, say about those concerns?”
Psaki won't say whether Biden will keep the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS. The Trump administration created the office in 2018. pic.twitter.com/vrq8meJ6sV
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 2, 2021
Psaki reiterated Biden’s support for the landmark Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, keeping the legal door open for abortion since 1973.
“The president’s been a long supporter of Roe v. Wade. It has been his consistent belief that should be law. He will fight to continue to protect that as being law,” Psaki said.
“Conscience concerns are not a concern of his?” Jensen pushed.
“I think again, I’m just going to state what the president’s policies are,” Psaki said.
“Will President Biden keep the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS, the office that was put in place under President Trump. Will [Biden] keep it in place to receive conscience complaints from those doctors?” Jensen followed up.
Psaki directed the question to Biden’s HHS secretary nominee and current California Attorney General Xavier Becerra pending Senate confirmation.
Trump created the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division at HHS in 2018.