2.27.2009

"Conscience clause" to be recinded by Obama

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration took a first step on Friday to rescind a controversial Bush-mandated regulation allowing healthcare professionals to refuse to provide services and information on moral grounds.

An official at the Department of Health and Human Services said the Bush administration rule had "upset the balance" between allowing doctors to decline to provide abortions and protecting the rights of women to get the care they need.

Current law includes a conscience clause for providers who do not want to perform abortions, but the Bush administration rule that took effect January 20 went much further, the agency official said on condition of anonymity.

It was vague enough to let health professionals invoke the conscience clause for things like contraceptives, family planning and counseling for vaccines and blood transfusions, she said.

"We recognize and understand that some providers have objections to providing abortions. We want to ensure that current law protects them," the official said.

"But we do not want to impose new limitations on services ... like family planning and contraception that would actually help prevent the need for an abortion in the first place."

. . . "Today's action by the Obama administration demonstrates that this president is not going to stand by and let women's health be placed in jeopardy," said Cecile Richards, head of the Planned Parenthood Federation.

Mary Jane Gallagher, head of the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association, called it an "important start."

"Women and men who depend on these services cannot afford for their access to counseling, education, contraception and preventive health screenings to be limited by this extreme rule," she said.

2 comments:

Sacred Heart Adoration said...

PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD ENDING: HURRY TAKE ACTION NOW!!

Rescission Proposal: 0991-AB49 http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750

On April 9, the 30 day comment period will end in which citizens can voice their concern of President Obama's rescission of the conscience clause. This clause allows medical professionals and organizations (such as hospitals) to choose not to provide services which are contrary to their religious beliefs or missions. This specifically pertains to the performance of abortions and sterilizations. Information on the clause and to make a public comment can be found at http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750

The conscience clause has been in effect since the 1970's, for over 30 years. During that time, abortions and sterilizations have grown in both demand and availability, being readily available throughout the country even in rural areas. Therefore, the existence of this regulation has in no way limited the ability of all Americans to receive these services if they choose.

This clause has, however, protected the freedom of both medical professionals and medical organizations (a corporation is legally a "person"). It allows those individuals to conduct their medical work without being forced into any conduct that would contradict their faith views. It allows hospitals with faith-based missions to continue to practice as well. Note that Catholic hospitals are the largest provider of hospital services in the United states. Then consider other hospitals with faith based missions, and you can see the import of this clause to allowing these organizations to exist, as well as see that this clause has in no way limited availability of abortion services.

There is an old saying "if it ain't broke, why fix it?". This is true here. After 30 years, this amendment is well tested and has not inhibited the quality of health care provided to Americans.

So why now is the Obama administration attempting to rescind this clause? We don't know, but clearly it is not for the purpose of improving health care.

What will be the results if this is rescinded? Catholic hospitals across the country, the largest provider of hospital services in this nation, will close down. Medical professionals of all faiths will risk losing their job due to religious discrimination or have to willingly give up their job. So the quality of healthcare IN EVERY SINGLE AREA OF HEALTH will be drastically and negatively affected, as well as religious discrimination and persecution institutionalized in our healthcare system. And all done to force mandatory abortion services that are not even needed because sufficient facilities and personnel exist to provide these.

So why now is I the Obama administration attempting to rescind this clause? It makes absolutely no sense.

Summary:

Our country was founded upon religious freedom. To repeal this clause and force individuals as well as medical organizations to conduct acts against their religious beliefs or corporate mission statements is discrimination. There are sufficient providers of abortion and sterilization services across the country, even in rural areas; it is clearly not necessary to force medical professionals and organizations to conduct these services. This clause has been in effect for over 30 years without causing any undue hardship to the American people. Therefore, there is no sound, need-based reason for rescinding this clause. The reason can only be discrimination against people of faith. In rescinding this clause, our government is potentially ruining our entire health care system simply for the purpose of making abortion mandatory (note, it is already easily available). Even citizens with no particular faith belief can see how their overall health care will be adversely affected by this action. This defies all logic and so can only be hate based.

It is important that every American, whether or not of any faith belief, stand up and insist this clause remain in effect for the continued quality healthcare of all American citizens IN ALL FIELDS OF MEDICINE. Don't let a political agenda destroy our healthcare system.

CALL BY THURSDAY BETWEEN 9AM AND 5PM EASTERN STANDARD TIME:
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414

OR

EMAIL YOUR OBJECTION NOW
proposedrescission@hhs.gov

OR

TYPE YOUR OBJECTION INTO THE WEBFORM NOW http://www.regulations.gov/search/search_results.jsp?css=0&&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchall&Ne=2+8+11+8053+8054+8098+8074+8066+8084+8055&N=0&Ntt=0991-AB49&sid=12078CBEF750
(IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE WITH THAT LINK GO TO www.Regulations.gov
ENTER 0991-AB49 into Search Documents
(You will be able to get the facts here)
Then click on Send a Comment or Submission

GL said...

The next time an advocate of same-sex "marriage" (or pseudogamy as a friend of mine calls it) tells you that they just want to right to marry and would oppose requiring a church or individual clergy member from performing such a ceremony, remember this effort to rescind the conscience clause. 45 years ago, which Connecticut still outlawed contraceptives, opponents of that ban declared that all they wanted was the right to use contraceptives and did not want any health care provider to be required to prescribe or dispense them. The same was true 37 years ago when proponents of abortion sought to overturn that ban. Yet a generation later, that is, a later generation, is now seeking to do exactly that. Expect the same to occur regarding churches and clergy who refuse to perform same-sex "marriages" a generation after the proponent of same-sex "marriage" get their "live-and-let-live" agenda adopted.

Humans cannot long tolerate a "live-and-let-live" solution for issues which they consider to involve fundamental human rights. The "progression" is always from banned to permitted to mandated or visa versa.