The text would also compel doctors to recommend that children receive “transgender” surgeries, to perform such surgeries, and to threaten parents with taking custody of their children if they object to “transgender” surgery. services, among other things.
As for other federal laws, the report highlights efforts by some Republicans to repeal the Law on Freedom of Entry at Entrances to Clinics and Places of Worship (FACE), which, according to the bishops, “is used almost exclusively to protect abortion clinics and has never been used to protect a church.”
“The unfair application of the FACE Act has long been highlighted but received renewed attention in 2023, as the increase in attacks on pro-life pregnancy resource centers went unpunished, while some action against protesters outside abortion clinics was unjustifiably harsh,” the bishops. said, referring to pro-life Catholic father Mark Houck, whose home was raided by armed officers.
In addition, the report also warns against other bills such as the Border Security Law and the Federal Funds Protection Against Human Trafficking and Smuggling Act, which will restrict the Church’s ability to provide aid to the humanitarian crisis on the southern border by restricting funds to groups such as Catholic Charities.
Meanwhile, the report said the Biden administration has taken “the most decisive actions” on religious freedom, especially through several key regulations released in 2023.
Among them are the HHS contraceptive mandate and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules, which threaten to require religious employers to make accommodations for abortion, contraception, and sterilization.
It is also noteworthy that the report mentions the Richmond Memorandum from the FBI, which was leaked in January 2023, revealing evidence that several of its offices investigated and monitored certain Catholic parishes, designated in the document as “radical traditionalist Catholics” who sympathized with “extremist ideological beliefs and violent rhetoric.”
Even more encouraging is the fact that the bishops’ report highlighted two victories for religious freedom at the Supreme Court. Groff vs. DeJoy y 303 Creative v. Elenis, which helped strengthen religious rights in the public sphere.
Some serious threats to religious freedom
The bishops said that the new year presents some significant threats to the religious rights of Americans, which are likely to worsen in the election process, especially given the emphasis on abortion, gender ideology, and immigration.
According to the prelates, the biggest legal threat to religious freedom that Americans will face in 2024 is a change in the federal regulation known as Section 155, which they say could be imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services. and “likely to order doctors to perform gender transition procedures and possible abortions” and “appears to be specifically aimed at forcing Catholic hospitals and faith health care workers to perform harmful procedures in gender transition, including children.”
Other serious threats to religious freedom highlighted in the report include a federal regulation that the bishops say could force Catholic hospitals to perform sex-reassignment surgeries, the suppression of religious speech about marriage and gender differences, threats to religious charities helping migrants at the southern border, and a new federal regulation mandating that employers provide workers with paid leave for abortion.
Translated and adapted by the ACI Prensa team. Originally published on CNA.
Peter Pinedo is a Washington, DC, correspondent for CNA. A graduate of Franciscan University, Peter previously worked for Texas Right to Life. He was a first lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.