A major component of the legislative battle over gender reassignment surgery is the freedom of conscience and religion on behalf of healthcare providers. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a bill protecting those rights, the Protecting Conscience in Healthcare Act.
For additional context, the Washington Free Beacon reported in May that the Human Rights Campaign, bankrolled by Pfizer, created a "Healthcare Equality Index." This system rates hospitals and other healthcare providers for their "equity and inclusion of their LGBTQ+ patients." Criteria included asking for patients' pronouns, displaying LGBTQ symbols, and prescribing treatment for gender dysphoria.
Moreover, penalties include "discriminatory treatment," implicitly stating conscientious or religious exemptions will be penalized.
Sen. Rubio's bill would prohibit healthcare providers and government agencies at the state and federal levels from requiring employees to promote "radical gender ideology" and protect against retaliation for not participating.
In his press release, Sen. Rubio said it was "deeply disturbing" to see gender ideology seep into the healthcare system, which could have harmful results for medical patients.
"It is deeply disturbing to see the progressive left infiltrate the American healthcare system and compromise the quality of patient care in the process. I am introducing the Protecting Conscience in Healthcare Act to stop this harmful, radical gender ideology in American hospitals and healthcare facilities," said Rubio.
In March, Rubio bashed the Department of Defense (DOD) for endorsing "gender-affirming care" for minors, saying, "There is almost no safety data associated with the use of these so-called treatments in minors."
Later in May, Rubio called out the National Institute of Health's (NIH) emphasis on promoting gender-affirming care even at patients' expense, calling the treatments "safe and effective" despite the proven social, psychological, and physical harms of these treatments."
Similarly, in July, Representative Kat Cammack (R-FL) attempted to play a video of a gender reassignment surgeon admitting the process was experimental and lacking research, only for multiple House Democrats to walk out in protest.
Rep. Cammack said the incident only proved her point.