The leader of a religious liberty law firm says the American public can be heard at a federal agency that ignored them during the Obama presidency.
Hours before the annual March for Life, Health and Human Services (HHS) announced it is creating the Conscience and Religious Freedom Division that will be located with the Office of Civil Rights.
Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel points out that, on the same day, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced new guidelines that allow states to opt-out of Medicaid abortion funding.
"During the eight years of President Obama, there were only eight complaints brought to HHS because people knew HHS was not going to protect them," Staver says of the left-wing Obama era that favored abortion rights and homosexual activism.
In fact, the ACLU predictably reacted to the recent news with a press release that claimed "religious liberty doesn't include a right to be exempt from laws protecting our health or barring discrimination."
That claim earned a commentary from Margot Cleveland, a Notre Dame professor, who argued that the left-wing legal group is twisting legal cases to claim religious liberty is burdening the public.
"Since the government created the onus on religion in the first place," writes Cleveland, "eliminating that burden does not favor religion but rather represents, in the words of the Supreme Court, 'benevolent neutrality' — something entirely consistent with the establishment clause."
Under the first year of Trump's administration, says Staver, HHS logged 34 complaints even before this newly created office was announced.
"So I believe what we're going to see," he predicts, "is the true amount of people who have been confronted with job termination or punishment for refusing to participate in abortion-related procedures."