Judie Brown
Action now! Stop Obama's contentious conscience charade
By Judie Brown
March 16, 2009

In an earlier commentary http://www.all.org/newsroom_judieblog.php?id=2510 "OBAMA CHRONICLES V: CONTRARY TO CONSCIENCE," I evaluated the planned changes proposed by the Obama administration. It was further noted by Noam Levey that at some point, a 30-day comment period would be opened up so that people of all viewpoints could put in their statements of support or concern.

The public comment period on removing conscience protections for health-care workers is now open. The first action should be to review the rules governing the submission of comments and the summary and text of the proposed regulation, which appears online at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/08/20080821reg.pdf

You will find the summary, which begins on page 11 of the pdf file. Following the summary you will find the complete text of the proposed regulations.

As a non-lawyer, I read what our ardent opponents in the struggle to defend the preborn from the deadly assault of abortion were saying. http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2009/03/11/obama-comes-through-reversing-bush-era-repro-rights-restrictions

    Obama's move to rescind the greatly expanded "conscience clause" was printed in this Tuesday's Federal Register, triggering a 30-day process of public comment that must occur before the new administration can act. Obama has said he supports a tightly written "conscience clause."

    "This is a commonsense fix," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and is consistent with goals to increase rather than hinder patients' access to care.


    Women's rights groups rallied their troops to use the 30-day comment period to spell out how the Bush regulation was dangerous. The National Women's Law Center said, for instance, that "a woman with cervical cancer should never be denied information about the option to extract and freeze her eggs before her cancer treatment as a result of her health care provider's religiously based opposition to infertility treatment."

From another source, we find this from Kim Gandy of National Organization for Women, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/141621.php "the move is a 'victory for women who rely on access to a full range of family planning services, and a victory for patients who deserve full information and medical care that is not withheld without their knowledge or consent.'"

Finally, there is this from Debra L. Ness the president of National Partnership for Women & Families http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=newsroom_pr_PressRelease_090306

    We applaud the Obama Administration for its proposal to rescind the provider refusal regulation that took effect on the final day of the Bush Administration. The regulation is onerous, damaging and unnecessary. It reinterprets existing laws to allow nearly any employee in a federally-funded health-care setting who claims a religious objection to refuse to provide information, referrals, or access to a range of health care services.

    If not repealed, this regulation will dramatically reduce access to family planning information and health services, particularly for low-income women, because it elevates the rights of providers over those of patients.

    While supporters of the regulation claim that a climate of intolerance prevents qualified individuals from entering the health profession, it offered no evidence whatsoever to substantiate its claim.

    In acting quickly to do away with this unnecessary regulation, the Obama Administration is taking politics out of health-care policy. This is a smart, compassionate action.

"Taking politics out of health-care policy" once again places the concerns of those who do not wish to be involved in the wholesale destruction of preborn children outside the "elite" who know what's best for mothers and their babies. It's enough to make one regurgitate, but there's no time for that.

Heartbeat International President Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D. said http://www.earnedmedia.org/hbi0306.htm

    President Obama is working to deprive the country of medical professionals who use their consciences when treating their patients," "Women, babies, and families deserve conscientious healthcare by doctors who believe in the sanctity of human life. It is wrong for the U.S. government to condemn doctors who follow the Hippocratic principle of 'do no harm.' This is un-American.

    The reversal of this regulation could cause conscientious doctors to stop practicing medicine leaving a significant void in the availability of healthcare providers. And the problem will be compounded if the government attempts to force Catholic hospitals to offer abortion. Please email HHS to stop Obama's first attempt to purge healthcare of all people with religious or moral objections to taking human life.


Please review the regulation and send your comments. The time to act is now!

You may submit electronic comments on this regulation to http://www.Regulations.gov or via e-mail to consciencecomment@hhs.gov

To submit electronic comments to http://www.Regulations.gov, go to the web site and click on the link "Comment or Submission" and enter the keywords "provider conscience." (Attachments should be in Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, or Excel; however, Microsoft Word is preferred.)

© Judie Brown


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Judie Brown

Judie Brown is president and co-founder of American Life League, the nation's largest grassroots pro-life educational organization... (more)


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