(LifeSiteNews) — A group of Republican lawmakers issued a comment to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding a proposed change to part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), popularly referred to as Obamacare, that would potentially force health care providers and insurance companies receiving federal funding to provide gender “affirming” treatments such as puberty blockers and “sex change” surgeries and abortions against their will.
The comment, sent to HHS in early October, demanded the proposed rule be “immediately withdrawn.”
“This Proposed Rule makes no attempt to actually ensure equal access to health care based on race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability,” the lawmakers wrote. “Instead, it takes an unprecedented departure from the law by requiring coverage and mandating performance of medical procedures and interventions that not only lack medical necessity but are often harmful to the patient.”
In July, HHS proposed a change to section 1557 of Obamacare that would expand sex protections to include gender identity, sexual orientation, and “pregnancy or related conditions,” including abortions. The change would potentially force health care providers and insurance companies receiving federal funds to administer or cover puberty blockers, “sex change” surgeries, and drugs against their will, including to minors, and force providers to perform abortions.
Commenting on abortion, the lawmakers wrote, “Elective abortion is not health care. Rather, it is a lethal and violent procedure that intentionally destroys the life of an innocent child. The Proposed Rule, however, under the guise of nondiscrimination in health care, discriminates against unborn children and health care providers who are committed to caring for both of their patients, the pregnant mother and her unborn child.”
“Medical and surgical gender transition procedures, especially for children, lack scientific, medical, and legal justification,” the lawmakers wrote with regard to gender “treatments.”
“Imposing such mandates in the Proposed Rule is irresponsible, rash, and contradicts the scientific method consistently used in medicine and throughout our various regulatory processes. Despite the biased, one-sided reports HHS relied upon for its rule, use of these drugs cause irreparable harm to patients, including sterilization.”
“[Section 1557] does not give HHS the authority to demand that health care providers ignore State laws, which protect life and protect patients, especially children, from harmful, experimental sterilizing and irreversible gender transition procedures, and it does not allow HHS to require medical professionals to violate their own medical judgments and consciences in order to comply with such lawless edicts,” the lawmakers wrote. “At a minimum, the Proposed Rule must make its limits in relation to state laws explicit.”
Signers of the comment include Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Mike Lee of Utah, as well as Reps. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, and Mike Johnson of Louisiana. A total of six senators and 15 representatives signed the comment, the Daily Caller reported.
The Biden administration has promoted both abortion and gender “treatments” since President Joe Biden took office in January last year.
In April, the HHS released documents that endorsed “gender affirming care” for “transgender and non-binary children and adolescents.” In July, Assistant Health Secretary Richard “Rachel” Levine, a man who thinks he is a woman, said in an interview about men in women’s sports that Americans must “empower” children to use puberty blockers and obtain “sex change” surgeries.
Last month, the Biden administration announced that it would use facilities operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide abortions and pro-abortion counseling to veterans and their beneficiaries, including at locations in states with strict abortion laws or abortion bans.
LifeSiteNews reached out to the HHS for comment but has yet to receive a response.