The Obama administration has begun the process of rescinding sweeping new federal protections that were granted in December to health-care workers who refuse to provide care that violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.I know there's still a whole process to go through, the 30-day comment period, etc., but...Yay.
The Office of Management and Budget announced this morning that it was reviewing a proposal to lift the controversial "conscience" regulation, the first step toward reversing the policy. Once the OMB has reviewed the proposal it will be published in Federal Register for a 30-day public comment period.
The new rule empowers the federal government to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, health plan, clinic or other entity that does not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable. The Bush administration adopted the rule at the urging of conservative groups, abortion opponents and others in order to safeguard workers from being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways.
Women's health advocates, family planning proponents, abortion rights activists and others condemned the regulation, saying it would create a major obstacle to providing many health services, including family planning, infertility treatment and end-of-life care, as well as possibly a wide range of scientific research.
The move marks the latest challenge to the Obama administration's attempt to find more of middle ground on issues related to abortion. President Obama has said repeatedly he hopes those on both sides of the issue can work to reduce the number of abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies and by offering support to women who do get pregnant and want to continue their pregnancies.
Friday, February 27, 2009
From The Washington Post (and many, many other sources), Obama Administration to Reverse Bush Rule on 'Conscience' Regulation: