CHA Statement on final US Department of Health and Human Services rule, entitled Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statues

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     
January 9, 2024

Contact: Brian Reardon

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today the Administration released the final rule Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statues: 88 Fed. Reg. 820 that makes important progress in upholding existing federal conscience protections. The Church, Coats-Snowe, and Weldon Amendments, among others, are essential for the continuation of both our own ministry and our nation’s commitment to freedom of religion and of conscience. We look forward to working with the Administration to ensure provider conscience protections under the rule are enforced and continue to strengthen religious freedom and conscience protections in our country.

For over two hundred years, individual and institutional Catholic health care providers have served the common good of our nation and its citizens by caring for persons of all ages, races, and faiths, consistent with our ethical standards in health care rooted in and inseparable from the Catholic Church's teachings about the dignity of each and every human person, created in the image of God.

These values form the basis for CHA’s long history of insisting on and working for the right of everyone to affordable, accessible health care. Our members are committed to the provision of quality health care services to any person in need of care. These same values set the limit on our participation in certain procedures that contradict our commitment to honoring the life and dignity of every person from conception to natural death. We firmly believe that organizations and individuals should not be required to participate in, pay for, provide coverage for or refer for services that directly contradict their deeply held religious or moral beliefs and convictions. For this reason, CHA has long supported and worked for the enactment of statutory conscience protection laws such as the Church Amendments, Section 245 of the Public Health Service Act, the Weldon Amendment and provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

» Download the PDF


The Catholic Health Association of the United States is the national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry, representing the largest nonprofit provider of health care services in the nation.

  • 1 in 7 patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital each day.
  • Catholic health care, which includes more than 2,200 hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, systems, sponsors, and related organizations, serves the full continuum of health care across our nation.

Media Contact

For specific media assistance, please contact Brian Reardon, Vice President, Communications and Marketing.

Media Resources