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Coverage of the HHS “Conscience” Rule

December 19, 2008

First, Rachel Maddow had lengthy (for cable news) coverage of the conscience issue, including an interview with Rep. Diana DeGette about the implications and possibilities for overturning the rule. WordPress won’t let me embed properly, but here it is.

The Daily Women’s Health Policy Report has links to lots of coverage.

RH Reality Check has of course continued their excellent coverage of the issue.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists had this to say:

This new HHS regulation places patients’ rights directly behind the rights of ideologically-driven physicians and anyone else directly or indirectly involved in their health care. As has been acknowledged by HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, current law, dating back 30 years, already protects physicians and health care providers who refuse to provide abortions and sterilizations based on religious or moral beliefs…

Nearly every relevant, national medical association has urged Secretary Leavitt to abandon this ill-conceived policy change. Nonetheless, ideology rules the day once again in this administration. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists will respectfully request that President-Elect Barack Obama rescind this regulation as expeditiously as possible upon taking office in January.

Finally, you can read the final version of the rule itself in today’s Federal Register. Prepare to be frustrated – the Department’s response to those 200,000 comments submitted was essentially a brush-off and can be distilled down to “We don’t think it’s a problem.”

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Harold A. Maio permalink
    December 19, 2008 2:37 pm

    “Conscience” was selected purely to disguise “religious grounds” and so long as we dare not address it, we collude.
    Harold A. Maio

  2. MomTFH permalink
    December 19, 2008 5:21 pm

    Rachel Maddow did a great job covering it last night. (I was studying for a final, so I had to watch it today. Maude bless Tivo!)

    One thing that seems to get lost in the one minute coverage of the issue is how this affects hiring practices, and she discussed that. I understand not being forced into performing any procedures one finds immoral, but that is already protected. This bill makes health care facilities have to certify that they do not “discriminate” in hiring. So, if the facility is the Department of Health family planning clinic like the one we have in our county, they cannot screen out candidates that will not perform their main job description: screening for STDs, prescribing birth control, inserting IUDs, and referring out for obstetrics or abortion if their patients test positive for pregnancy. That is all they do there.

  3. December 20, 2008 12:49 pm

    MomTFH, that’s an excellent point, and one I haven’t seen much coverage of – thanks for bringing it up.

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