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Obama Kicks Bush’s Sneaky HHS Regulation to the Curb

Obama Kicks Bush’s Sneaky HHS Regulation to the Curb

As the Obama Administration begins the process of rescinding the Bush Administration’s HHS “conscious clause” regulation, his midnight parting gift to the religious right, those in the pro-government enforced pregnancy movement (“pro-life”) are beginning to make predictable objections.

The purpose of the sneaky regulation was not just to provide job protections for health care workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable, the regulation is just another tactic in the enforced pregnancy movement’s strategy to take away women’s choice. Appointing Sam Alito to the Supreme Court was another tactic in this 30-year war. You can read more about the others strategies and tactics used in the war on choice here and here.

Let’s get real here for a second.  I have yet to find a person in America that thinks abortions are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  In other words, we can all agree that we want to see the number of abortions reduced, but that will happen through sex education, not through restricting abortion.  Calling supporters of choice murderers (more than half of all Americans by the way), is not going to change anything but the tenor or the argument.  And unless you are also anti-war and anti-death penalty, don’t waste our time.  If you believe in the “sanctity of life,” you must believe in the sancity of ALL life.

The opponents of choice will do their best to make Roe v. Wade irrelevant by chipping away at issues like parental and spousal consent, mandatory waiting periods, health exceptions, etc.  You know where we are headed right? Illegal abortions (not performed by medically qualified practitioners) are already on the increase because abortions and birth control for that matter are getting harder and harder to get for a lot of women every day. Cases are being introduced in several states that would allow pharmacists and other medical professionals to opt out of providing various medical services, whether or not the patient is entitled to them. These laws could allow insurance companies to deny coverage for services they find objectionable, nursing home personnel to force treatment on those who have do not resuscitate orders, install feeding tubes in those who do not want them, and deny birth control to women (isn’t that funny, since birth control would prevent abortions).

Conscience clauses are a uniquely pernicious tactic in the war against choice because they expand it to other venues. In the case of Bush’s version, contraception was redefined in order to allow health care workers the right to object to dispensing it and in some cases, allow health care workers the right to object to dispensing ANTIBIOTICS because they are prescribed to women after abortions to prevent infection.  That’s right, there are health care workers who have refused to dispense antibiotics to someone facing possible infection.  Apparently, in some cases, the patient’s life is not worth saving. But I’m sure that health care worker believes in the “sanctity of life” and somehow decided that they were protecting that principle–just not an actual life.

Think of it this way. How would you feel if your pharmacist had the right to deny you birth control because he or she didn’t think a single woman should be having sex without “consequences?” What if your pharmacist decided sex within marriage should always result in children? To carry it further, would a vegan pharmacist have the right to quiz you on your cholesterol intake and deny you your prescribed heart medication? What if you’re a man and the pharmacist objects to sex outside of marriage and refuses to sell you condoms because you should be prepared to pay the consequences for having sex? What if we all have to start filling out questionnaires when we seek health care to make sure we don’t make any lifestyle choices health care workers find to be objectionable?

Where does it end? I’ll tell you where. It ends with the law and with professional ethics.  From the American Pharmacists Association Code of Ethics: “A pharmacist avoids discriminatory practices, behavior or work conditions that impair professional judgment, and actions that compromise dedication to the best interests of patients.”

It is a health care workers duty to act in the best interests of their patient, not of themselves.  If someone doesn’t like it, they should go into another line of work.

Be sure to sign the Care2 petition to overturn the misguided conscience regulation because every little bit of support helps.  Tell the Obama that you support his decision to rescind the DHHS regulation loud and clear.

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Photo courtesy of Huffington Post

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6:02AM PST on Mar 9, 2012


6:03AM PDT on Apr 19, 2009

my 14 yr old daugher needs birth control pills for the regulation of her cycle. our dr. told us that she could develop serious medical issues as she grows if she doesn't get this taken care of now. i wonder how many medical professionals pharmacist etc. understand that sometimes they have no idea what the prescriptions are actually for and they could be contributing to the harm of another person.

10:16AM PDT on Apr 9, 2009

If a doctor or nurse feels that performing abortions is wrong then they shouldn't be forced to perform them, and they shouldn't be discriminated against either. Why shouldn't their beliefs be protected? If you don't like it go to another doctor!!!! It's not that big of deal!!!! Talk about intolerance... Seriously, when did doctors become angels of death instead of givers of life?

10:12AM PDT on Apr 9, 2009

If a doctor or nurse feels that performing abortions is wrong then they shouldn't be forced to perform them, and they shouldn't be discriminated against either. Why shouldn't their beliefs be protected? If you don't like it go to another doctor!!!! It's not that big of deal!!!! Talk about intolerance... Seriously, when did doctors become angels of death instead of givers of life?

8:01AM PDT on Mar 25, 2009

Birth control should be sold over the counter so that people have regular access to it like condoms IMO.

No one has the right to tell others what to do in the bed room. Legislating people's sex lives by restricting birth control or abortion is wrong!!!! It is none of your business if I or any one else uses birth control or abortion.

NO one should be denied a prescribed medication. health care worker should never deny some one a antibiotic for an infection. If a person actually dies from this, then that health care worker should be charged with murder.

If you object to birth control or abortion stay out of the medical field.

Go adopt one of those unwanted babies or work in the foster care system for awhile and see what the real world is like. Or work in rape crisis center to see what real women actually have been faced with before you stick your judgmental noses in some ones else's choices about the morning after pill etc.

I'm tired hearing about laws that restrict people's rights and freedoms.

11:03PM PST on Mar 6, 2009

"Doctors & Nurses should have the right to follow their conscience in matters of ethics & morals!"

Medical professionals adopt the ethics of their profession. Object to providing patient care as prescribed and putting their own personal beliefs before their patients' is selfish and not compatible with the ethics of the health care profession. Get out of the business of providing patient care if you put your own interests and values above those of your patients.

4:23PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

Clara, do you have any idea what a great hero you are? I hope so.

4:22PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

Great Job, Mr. President. Bush didn't belong in our bedrooms, bathrooms, or our personal sex lives or business when he snuck that disgusting "law" in.

2:43PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

Jay Simms says
Mar 3, 2009 6:00 AM

Elizabeth Irving says
Mar 3, 2009 6:00 AM

The two above posts said it all. Good for them!!

1:30PM PST on Mar 3, 2009

Of Course Abortion should never be used as a constant form of Birth Control......EVER, but Freedom to have the right to choice should never be TAKEN away~!!! See this issue is so stupid.... if its illegal it would just go underground or women would bring back the wire hanger...Look Nothing Bush has done was right ....the few things he did do??...Uhh we have to still fight to get back our freedom now!!!...So Fricking Get on the pill & guys can too now!! Get off the viagra because if your not having kids why are you taking a chance? So get a vasectomy or your tubes tied....and grow up BUSH!!!! Give me a break Bush just makes me so angry~!!!!!!!!!!

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