Obama May Not Allow Religious Health Workers to Refuse Care


The Obama administration is considering lifting Bush's controversial "conscience" rule, which protects health care workers who refuse to carry out medical practices that violate their religious or moral views. The current regulation, which lets the government cut off funding to health care providers that do
not allow their employees to abstain from work they find objectionable, came at the urging of conservatives and was considered a substantial victory for the pro-life movement.

"We are proposing rescinding the Bush rule," said a Human and Human Services department official in a Washington Post interview.

"We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule is written it could make it
harder for women to get the care they need. It is worded so vaguely that some
have argued it could limit family planning counseling and even potentially blood
transfusions and end-of-life care," the official went on to say.

The proposal to overturn the rule will now undergo a 30-day review period, after which officials could choose to modify the rule or ditch it entirely. The move by the Obama administration is the latest in a string of? changes to reproductive health policies laid down by Bush, most notably including the restoration of funds to international groups that provide abortion services or information.

Read the Opposing Views debate, "Should Obama have Reversed U.S. Abortion Policy?"



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