HHS “Conscience” Rule Closer to Enactment
As Scott Swenson explained yesterday, the HHS “conscience” rule that we’ve all been following for months is one step closer to becoming official, as regulatory review has been completed. Get published in the Federal Register, and boom!, it’s official. [See the update]
As Scott explains:
For anyone just catching up on this far-right social conservative effort to take away your rights to legal health care, here’s a primer: the refusal clause could allow a health care professional who believes that contraception is the same thing as abortion to refuse to give a woman who was raped emergency contraception; a person who does not believe in blood tranfusions could refuse to participate in necessary emergency care, and the list of horrific examples goes on.
Never once in the months of debate on this — on Secretary Michael Leavitt’s blog, in the media, or in the responses from HHS to 325,000 petition signatures filed in opposition and more than 200,000 public comments questioning the measure, has the simplest of questions ever been answered.
In fact, Leavitt has publicly misrepresented the proposed rule throughout the process, claiming that doctors’ certification would be in jeopardy (it wouldn’t) if they refuse to perform abortions (a right they already have), and claiming that the scope of the rule is narrowly focused while allowing the rule to move on without even a definition of “abortion” to address concerns that contraception could be considered abortion by those with a non-standard definition of pregnancy (while defining “workforce” and “individual”).
Meanwhile, LifeSiteNews is still spreading the pro-rule propaganda (as did HHS Secretary Leavitt) that physician certification is in jeopardy for those who don’t perform abortion unless this rule is implemented – which has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked.