Obama Set to Undo ‘Conscience’ Rule for Health Workers

Published: February 27, 2009

(HH here: I like this one! whether you are a doctor or nurse or a taxi driver or shoe salesman I have always felt that if you take a job you agree to DO that job. IF you are a pharmacist who refuses to dispense drugs your faith doesn’t like then you need to find a new job. If you are a doctor that refuses to have anything to do with an abortion then do not apply to work at any facility that performs them. Ditto taxi drivers who decide that service dogs and passengers carrying alchohol, or even just drunk, need not be served. My answer remains the same, find a new job if your faith constrains you from participating in secular society. In the past the devoutly faithful withdrew from “the world” in order to be more faithful to their religous rules. IF faced with a “do this or quit” situation they simply quit. We are not talking about something like child labor in factories! We are talking about people who bring their personal, particular religious rules to the workplace and expect a larger society that does not share them to conform in order that they might not have to “suffer” for their faith. If passionate faith is never supposed to cost YOU anything then how do you distinguish it from a simple power trip?)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration moved on Friday to undo a last-minute Bush administration rule granting broad protections to health workers who refuse to take part in abortions or provide other health care that goes against their consciences.

The Department of Health and Human Services served notice on Friday, through a message to the White House Office of Management and Budget, that it intends to rescind the regulation, which was originally announced on Dec. 19, 2008, and took effect on the day President Obama took office.

When the administration publishes official notice of its intent, probably next week, a 30-day period for public comment will begin, after which the regulation can be repealed or modified.

But opponents of the regulation, including the American Medical Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and Planned Parenthood, said it could have voided state laws requiring insurance plans to cover contraceptives and requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims. It could also allow drugstore employees to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives, critics of the regulation have said.

Moreover, opponents of the regulation have said, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already offers broad protection against discrimination based on religion, spelling out that an employer must make reasonable accommodations for an employee’s practices and beliefs.

“Today’s action by the Obama administration demonstrates that this president is not going to stand by and let women’s health be placed in jeopardy,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said on Friday.

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