By Matthew Bowman
“Pro-choice” is so 1990’s.
The abortion and LGBT movements showed this week that instead of choice, their new agenda is to ban healthcare choices that would disagree with their ideology.
On Monday, a Detroit federal court considered the ACLU’s recent lawsuit trying to force almost 100 Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.
We at Alliance Defending Freedom successfully joined the case on behalf of pro-life and Christian physician groups, pointing out that the ACLU was trampling on several laws that explicitly protect hospitals and doctors from being coerced to assist abortions.
The judge dismissed the case, calling ACLU’s evidence “dubious” and saying “obviously” pregnancy does not inherently require abortion. But is the ACLU’s case is part of a nationwide campaign in which it has appealed similar losses.
On the west coast, the California Attorney General filed an appeals court brief Thursday targeting pro-life pregnancy medical clinics. These clinics treat both women and children as their patients and offer help so women do not feel the need to choose abortion. But the state is forcing them to tell women a phone number where the state will pay to destroy those preborn children.
And in Tennessee a bill on the governor’s desk would protect mental health professionalsfrom punishment for declining to promote behaviors that violate their beliefs. The ACLU and LGBT allies are calling for boycotts if the bill is signed, insisting that counselors who won’t violate their religious beliefs must be punished.
As National Review’s David French points out, these coercive assaults from the abortion and LGBT movements seek “to cleanse the [health] profession of Christians.”
But the LGBT and abortion movements have a broader anti-choice goal. They seek to deny patients their choice of a health professional who shares their values.
Many pregnant women want to have their babies delivered by a care provider that unconditionally values the lives of children in the womb. But if the ACLU has its way, those choices will be banned. Every woman will be forced to have her baby delivered in an abortion clinic by an abortionist, because no doctor or hospital will be licensed unless they participate in abortions.
Each year millions of patients and their families choose hospitals that follow a religious mission. They appreciate the opportunity for spiritual consolation alongside physical care. When they are at their most vulnerable, they want to trust a community of health professionals who are unswervingly committed to the principle of healing rather than killing.
By forcing religious health providers to violate their beliefs, the ACLU and their allies would prohibit those patients’ choices. The Center for Reproductive Rights has decided what you can and can’t choose at a hospital: “we do not go to a hospital for a sermon, but rather for medical care” and “employees of that hospital are there for work, and not worship.”
The anti-choice Left is also targeting mental health choices. ADF has represented several Christian counselors such as Julea Ward, who was expelled from her degree program for referring a request that she help counsel a sexual relationship that was contrary to her convictions. The Sixth Circuit federal appeals court eventually ruled in Julea’s favor, declaring “tolerance is a two-way street.”
Among the one in five Americans who experience mental illness issues each year are many people of faith who want a counseling relationship based on shared set of values. Many married couples likewise wish to choose counselors who share their view that marriage involves male-female complementarity and is supported by their faith backgrounds.
The ACLU wants to ban those choices for people of faith, both in Tennessee and across the country.
By purging committed Christians from the counseling profession through lawsuits and attacks on their degrees and licenses, patients will be banned from choosing counselors who share their Christian values. Patients will be forced to see counselors who reject their faith community’s idea of marriage or even of health itself.
“Anti-choice” has been a favorite slur that abortion advocates use to describe pro-life people. But choice has outlived its usefulness for the abortion and LGBT movements. All patients must now choose pro-abortion and gender-redefined health care for themselves, whether they want it or not.
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