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Trump to protect Christian nurses who refuse to perform abortions

Eric Hargan, the acting secretary of health and human services, will announce a new division within the Health and Human Services Department to support health professionals who object to providing treatments on religious grounds.

Tasked with ensuring hospitals and clinics accommodate religious beliefs, the new civil-rights division offers fresh hope for staff who do not feel able to conduct gender reassignment surgery and terminate a pregnancy.

Even before the plans were officially announced, some Christian campaigners reacted warmly to the proposals, saying they marked a welcomed shift in policy.

David Christiansen from the Christian group Family Research Council told CBN News: "Unfortunately, the prior administration narrowed their interpretation of current laws related to pro-life conscience protections..."

But pro-choice and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups expressed concern that the new rules would be discriminatory.

Dana Singiser from Planned Parenthood was quoted by the Seattle Times as saying: "This will impose a broad religious-refusal policy that will allow individuals and institutions to deny basic care for women and transgender people.

"We know from experience that denial of care compromises care."

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