U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in introducing a bill to strengthen religious freedom and conscience protections for healthcare workers and government employees as hospitals and clinics face increasing pressure to adhere to a radical gender ideology.
The Protecting Conscience in Healthcare Act would prohibit federal or state government agencies and “covered entities,” such as hospitals and health clinics, from requiring employees to participate in activities that promote radical gender ideology.
“Coercing healthcare workers to abandon their religious belief to accommodate a radical gender agenda is wrong. Hospitals and clinics, and those who work in them, should stay focused on care without being pressured to pay undue attention to fringe activists,” Hyde-Smith said.
“It is deeply disturbing to see the progressive left infiltrate the American healthcare system and compromise the quality of patient care in the process. I am introducing the Protecting Conscience in Healthcare Act to stop this harmful, radical gender ideology in American hospitals and healthcare facilities,” Rubio said.
S.2797 was drafted after the Washington Free Beacon in May exposed coordination among more than 2,200 health systems across the country and the Human Rights Campaign, which utilizes a Healthcare Equality Index (HEI) to measure “equitable and inclusive” hospitals and their approaches to “gender medicine.”
To earn a high HEI score, hospitals must conduct training that advocates radical gender ideology, display pro-LGBTQ symbols, force employees to use patients’ preferred pronouns, and use the same treatments for gender dysphoria that are used for other medical conditions, such as precocious puberty. Furthermore, the HEI penalizes hospitals for allowing religious and medical conscience exemptions, calling these “discriminatory treatment.”
This legislation is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio).
In May, Hyde-Smith also signed on as an original cosponsor of two bills introduced by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) to protect children and taxpayers from radical gender ideology. The Protecting Children From Experimentation Act (S.1597) would prohibit doctors from performing “gender-transition procedures” on minors. The End Taxpayer Funding of Gender Experimentation Act (S.1595) would prohibits federal funds from being used for “gender transgender procedures.”