Trump administration proposed last-minute rule to protect premature babies
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January 28, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — In the last days of President Donald Trump’s term, his administration proposed a new rule to assure medical protection for babies born prematurely or with disabilities.
The rule, issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 15, would prevent hospitals from denying emergency screenings or care to disabled babies whose parents consent to treatment, citing federal law. For that to happen, however, it would need to be enforced by the pro-abortion Biden administration, which is unlikely.
It also would bar healthcare providers from “basing certain life and death medical decisions on evaluations of the relative worth of the life a patient” and from “steering patients toward withdrawal of life-saving or life-sustaining care,” HHS said in a press release.
The agency’s proposed rule follows an executive order signed by Trump last fall, titled “Protecting Vulnerable Newborn and Infant Children.” The order bans hospitals from refusing live-saving treatment to disabled or premature babies, which some still do in spite of federal antidiscrimination protections.
“[The HHS Office for Civil Rights] has received multiple complaints alleging instances in which hospitals refused to treat premature infants on the basis of their age or disability despite parents’ requests,” the HHS noted.
The agency cited the case of premature twins left to die in an Ohio hospital as their mother begged for help three years ago. An ongoing HHS investigation found that the hospital violated statutory requirements for the treatment of emergency patients.
“When parents seek emergency treatment for their newborns, hospitals should never deny care on the belief that lives of infants with disabilities are not worthy of saving,” said Roger Severino, the outgoing Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights.
“Americans across the political spectrum agree that people should be protected from disability discrimination in matters of life and death,” Severino added.
The future of the Trump administration’s last-minute attempt to protect vulnerable babies nevertheless is uncertain with Joe Biden in the White House. Biden, the most radical pro-abortion politician ever to head the U.S. federal government, never voiced support for the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Act, which would codify protections for babies born alive during abortions.
Biden also has signaled his intent for an extreme pro-abortion shake-up of HHS, appointing former California attorney general Xavier Becerra to lead the agency. Becerra notably prosecuted pro-life activist David Daleiden on 15 felony charges for uncovering evidence that Planned Parenthood employees were selling aborted babies’ body parts.
The charges were originally brought by Kamala Harris, Becerra’s predecessor, after she authorized a raid on Daleiden’s apartment following a meeting with Planned Parenthood executives.