The Trump Administration has taken several important actions in the final weeks of office that will provide an important foundation of policy, fact, and analysis as we anticipate the battleground defining the policy agenda of the next administration. Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) was directly engaged in contributing to, commenting on, and advocating for these policy actions:
- HHS “Keep Kids First” Rule. HHS issued a final rule to protect faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that ensures federal grants are in line with nondiscrimination statutes and long-standing religious liberty protections. The final rule follows the rule of law, correcting the activism of the Obama administration that imposed new categories of sex discrimination on grantees and sidelined many faith-based adoption and foster care providers. HHS’s action aims to protect the ability of Christian adoption and foster care providers to participate in grant programs and maintain their rights under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. It also asserts the government’s responsibility to adhere to federal statutes as passed by Congress and relevant Supreme Court decisions, not pursue an activist expansion of civil rights laws.
- Bostock and Title IX. The U.S. Department of Education Office of General Counsel issued a concise directive to the Office for Civil Rights for how the Bostock decision relates to its authority under Title IX. The Question & Answer document, which was sent to over 56,000 education entities across the country, is an official legal analysis that will require a new administration to reckon with its facts before taking any action to impose a new definition of “sex” on schools. The directive asserts, “The Department’s longstanding construction of the term ‘sex’ in Title IX to mean biological sex, male or female, is the only construction consistent with the ordinary public meaning of ’sex’ at the time of Title IX’s enactment.” It makes clear that Bostock does not overrule biological sex with “gender identity” under Title IX and that schools must ensure equal opportunities and benefits in athletics and facilities for women and girls on the basis of biological sex.
- Fetal Tissue Research Rulemaking. HHS initiated a rulemaking to govern fetal tissue research conducted by outside researchers as the final step in its promised actions to end unethical research using aborted babies. The proposed rule, “Establishment of Safeguards and Program Integrity Requirements for Health and Human Services-Funded Extramural Research Involving Human Fetal Tissue,” has entered a 30-day public comment period that will continue as scheduled despite a change in administration. This important rulemaking would impose strict requirements and tighten rules on any outside research of this nature supported by federal funds, including banning any abortion provider like Planned Parenthood from supplying and profiting from the acquisition of human fetal tissue for research purposes.
CWALAC applauds these actions as a tribute to our impactful work with policymakers and the tireless dedication of federal officials who have served the Trump Administration with honor in following through on these significant policy achievements. They leave a permanent record that the incoming administration cannot erase.