Trump wants to end requiring U.S. religious welfare groups to tell clients of options

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he departs for travel to New Orleans, Louisiana from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 13, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis

By Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Religious social service providers receiving funds from the U.S. government would no longer have to tell their clients about other, possibly secular organizations that offer similar help under changes the Trump administration proposed on Thursday.

Conservative Christians, a key bloc in President Donald Trump’s Republican Party, have pushed to lift the requirement that religiously affiliated service groups must tell clients about alternative providers if they receive federal money. They also must post information on referrals and track the referrals they make.

The requirement has been a flashpoint in the national fight over abortion.

Supporters say it ensures women understand the availability of safe and legal abortions in their areas. Some Christian-affiliated pregnancy centers opposed to abortion say that supplying information about abortion providers compromises their beliefs.

The Trump administration argues that the requirement puts an undue burden on groups linked to churches and treats them unfairly, presuming that because of their religious affiliation they will provide ideologically driven care or lie to clients. It says there is no similar requirement for secular organizations.

To end the requirement, the administration is pursuing rule changes at nine government agencies that carry out policy on health, labor, education, food, housing, justice, homeland security, veterans and international aid.

With national headlines on Thursday focused on Trump’s impeachment trial, the White House dedicated the day to actions it said would protect religious freedom, capped by an afternoon event on prayer in public schools.

But unraveling the alternative provider requirement is likely to receive the most attention.

It is also sure to anger advocates for patients’, women’s, and civil rights.

They say that individuals should be able to receive treatment from government-funded groups aligned with their personal beliefs or that do not have a religious affiliation.

They also say people should have clear and accurate information about all the taxpayer-backed options for assistance in their area, and that the government needs to ensure that in providing money to nonprofits it is not funding Christian proselytizing.

(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Bill Berkrot and Jonathan Oatis)

6 thoughts on “Trump wants to end requiring U.S. religious welfare groups to tell clients of options

  1. This is nonsense. We don’t need to give money for Abortions! All money sent to these agencies are sent to the Vatican, so stop sending them our money to create wars and finance both sides! You are enabling them to do so when you send them our money.

  2. Secular organizations already have the freedom to choose however they want. So should religious people have the right to follow their religious beliefs. That’s what America is all about the freedom to choose even when you may not agree with how others choose. God allows freedom for all people to choose however they desire even when they choose against what He desires for their good. Holy God never forces Himself on people, but does give them the freedom of choice to make their own decisions whether for good of evil. When God’s people present God’s good choices to people, all people still have the freedom to accept or refuse – Deuteronomy 30:11-20. God desires people to choose good over evil, but allows them the freedom to choose good or evil.

  3. first of all it’s not the Job of the president or the government to tell people where to go for assistance it’s the Church job to tell the people where to get help period. The Bible clearly stated Jesus said upon this Rock I will build my Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

    • Hi Lura,
      Thank you for your inquiry about the list of Trump’s accomplishments. A link to the article remains on the mane page of the The ad banner is located to the right of the “Latest News” section. Click on it and it will take you directly to the article.

      • Why are secular organizations not required to give alternative options to abortion such as open or private adoption? There are homes for women to stay until the child is born. Parents should be notified up to the age of 18. This includes men and women involved. Why have we made abortion so easy when it’s one of the most life altering decisions any one can make for man, woman, parents and child?

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