WASHINGTON—The Health and Human Services Department recently put out a proposed rule that would make it illegal for medical professionals to cooperate with law enforcement in pro-life states. Roger Severino, Heritage’s vice president of domestic policy, served as former Director of the HHS Office of Civil Rights and was the nation’s longest-serving HIPAA regulator (2017-2021). He released the following statement on comments he and other Heritage staff filed with HHS:
“As part of its campaign of massive resistance to the Dobbs decision, the Biden Administration has weaponized every lever of the federal government, including HIPAA. HHS bureaucrats are threatening pro-life professionals and medical providers with penalties and jail time with a rule so vague and confusing as to call into question its constitutionality.
“This rule could impede lawful investigations not only of illegal abortions, but also rape, incest, sex trafficking, domestic violence, abuse, and neglect if it pertains to the provision of abortion and any other ‘reproductive health care.’ HHS is attempting to flip the law on its head by not only shielding evidence of abortion-related crimes, but by treating cooperators with law enforcement as criminals.
“Most offensive of all, HHS literally redefines 'person' under HIPAA to exclude unborn human beings from the protection of the law. Doctors won’t be able to work with authorities to help save unborn children from threats to their lives or health because the rule would deem them as ‘unpersons.’”
Read the full comments here.