The U.S. House rejected a modification through Rep. Tom Cole that would have preserved the “judgment of right and wrong protections” for fitness care providers who don’t want to carry out positive strategies, such as abortion.
The modification failed late Wednesday on a more often than not party-line vote of 192-230.
Cole, R-Moore, and Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Tulsa, have been co-sponsors of the amendment and voted for it, as did Reps. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne, and Markwayne Mullin, R-Westville. Rep. Kendra Horn, D-Oklahoma City, voted towards.
The modification came on a spending bill that includes the Health and Human Services Department.
Cole argued on the House floor Wednesday that the invoice would block a brand new rule at the department that “protects physicians, pharmacists, nurses, instructors, students and total faith-based charities who do not want to offer, participate in, pay for, offer coverage for or check with services including abortion, sterilization or assisted suicide.”
He said the House invoice could not clear the Senate and benefit the president’s signature if the guideline were blocked.
Democrats argued that the guideline allowed fitness care vendors to impose religious ideas on people who wanted care.
Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., stated, “This rule may want to suggest that rape survivors, identical-sex couples, girls with accidental pregnancies, those searching for life-saving abortions, and transgender patients may want to all be refused medical care.”
According to the Health and Human Services Department, the guideline, finalized in May, “protects individuals and fitness care entities from discrimination based on their exercise of judgment of right and wrong in HHS-funded programs.”
Rep. David P. Roe, R-Tenn., stated, “Opponents of the HHS rule will tell you that the rule of thumb is about denial of care. They will inform you that the power is supposed to allow discrimination.
“There could be nothing in addition to the fact. The HHS rule protects fitness care providers from discrimination if they act in step with their conscience.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said, “Under this rule, we know girls will be denied admission to standard medical care. … Under this rule, we recognize a transgender individual can be denied hospital treatment. For women in rural communities, small towns, or in an emergency scenario, the health facility or pharmacy that announces ‘no’ approach, these girls will no longer get the care they need.”
The spending invoice, still under attention in the House, was expected to be the source of other fights over abortion, including the longstanding Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal investment in abortion.
However, Democratic leaders blocked an attempt to strip the Hyde Amendment from the invoice. They said aid by Trump and the Senate of the Hyde Amendment intended the bill couldn’t grow to be law if it had been not covered.
The White House has raised several objections to the regulation and threatened a veto despite the Hyde Amendment included.