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30 Day Public Comment Period on Rescinding “Conscience” Rule to Open Tuesday

March 6, 2009

The Federal Register’s current list of inspection documents (items to be published in upcoming editions) includes notice that the proposed rule to rescind the HHS “conscience” rule will be published on Tuesday, March 10. Its publication on that date will open a 30-day public comment on the newly proposed rule.

On the inspection documents page, look for:

Rescission of the Regulation entitled “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law
2009-05067 View Pdf
[Filed: 03/06/09 at 11:15am; Publication Date: 3/10/2009]

From there you will be able to download a PDF of the proposed rule (to rescind the “conscience” rule), which includes information on how to comment, background on the issue, and the explanation:

The Department is proposing to rescind in its entirety the final rule entitled “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law,” published in the Federal Register on December 19, 2008 (73 FR 78072, 45 CFR Part 88).Commenters asserted that the rule would limit access to patient care and raised concerns that individuals could be denied access to services, with effects felt disproportionately by those in rural areas or otherwise underserved. The Department believes that the comments on the August 2008 proposed rule raised a number of questions that warrant further careful consideration. It is important that the Department have the opportunity to review this regulation to ensure its consistency with current Administration policy.

Accordingly, we believe it would benefit the Department to review this rule, accept further comments, and reevaluate the necessity for regulations implementing the statutory requirements. Thus, the Department is proposing to rescind the December 19, 2008 final rule, and we are soliciting public comment to aid our consideration of the many complex questions surrounding the issue and the need for regulation in this area.

Note that you will not be able to comment online via until the proposed rule is actually published and then added into that system.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. MomTFH permalink
    March 6, 2009 10:58 pm


  2. Donald permalink
    March 25, 2009 2:24 pm

    If Obama decides against conscience rule then he is an utter idiot. The next national vote will tell the tale of how Obama is worthless.

  3. April 7, 2009 11:43 am

    Should the state really have power to force You to do things that violate Your conscience? The military accommodates -not punishes- soldiers who refuse to kill as “conscientious objectors”. Should this principle not apply to the professions as well, so that individuals are not pressured to do what they believe is evil?

    Imagine Yourself a doctor… Suppose Your hospital directs You to euthanize -kill- a patient, and You, having vowed as a doctor to heal and never to kill, know that euthanasia violates Your deepest convictions of conscience. Do You really want the state to pressure You to do what You believe is wrong, even murderous?

    Practicing a profession does not and should not mean that You blindly subordinate Your conscience to every government dictate.

    What if the state were to mandate that grade school teachers must regularly display pornographic movies to their students? Would You, as a teacher, consent to this? What individual, upon entering a profession, agrees to abandon personal ethics and refuses to exercise discerning judgment when pressured by colleagues, employers, and bureaucrats to do what is controversial or blatantly immoral? No, a person of good will and integrity does not consent to carry out actions that he believes are fundamentally wrong, and no just government attempts to force individuals to do so.

    A nation that tries to compel its citizens to do evil is a nation with a dark, inhuman future.

    People who want the state to have such coercive power have been seduced by statism and fascism, despotic forces making a renewed and frightening assault upon the United States. These forces and their supporters must be firmly opposed.

    • April 7, 2009 11:47 am

      John, I believe existing laws already cover the scenario you describe – likewise, existing laws already provide for clinicians to opt out of learning or providing abortion procedures or providing sterilization procedures. I don’t find your example of forcing grade school teachers to show pornography to be either likely or instructive in this scenario.

  4. April 7, 2009 3:48 pm

    I’m not sure John understands what the regulation in question does. At least, he doesn’t address it in his comment. John, the regulation forbids employers not to hire employees who intend not to comply with the job description on the basis of personal beliefs.

  5. December 2, 2009 1:42 am

    Вроде все в порядке, только по ссылке почему то не могу перейти


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