Bush Administration Responds to Pro-Abortion Criticism of Rule Protecting Docs
by Steven Ertelt
August 8, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The head of the Health and Human Services deportment is responding to concerns from pro-abortion groups that a proposed rule to protect pro-life doctors would somehow limit contraception and birth control. Secretary Mike Leavitt said that reading of the rule is incorrect.
The Bush administration proposal protects pro-life doctors, nurses and other medical professionals who don’t want to be involved in abortions by enforcing existing laws.
It also protects medical centers that don’t want to do abortions on site and revokes federal funds from those that discriminate against pro-life medical professionals.
The measure includes a definition of abortion that makes it clear it is a practice that destroys a human life after the point of conception, but abortion advocates claim the definition redefines birth control and will limit it.
That’s not so, according to a post Leavitt placed on the blog he uses on the department’s web site.
"An early draft of the regulation found its way into public circulation before it had reached my review," he said. "It contained words that lead some to conclude my intent is to deal with the subject of contraceptives, somehow defining them as abortion. Not true."
He said the proposed federal regulations are only a protection for medical professionals who don’t want to be forced to do abortions.
"The department is still contemplating if it will issue a regulation or not," Leavitt said. "If it does, it will be directly focused on the protection of practitioner conscience."
Leavitt likely responded on his HHS web site blog because Planned Parenthood recently issued an action alert to its members to have them leave complaints on it.
Pro-life groups are backing the measure and saying the abortion definition is very clear — that any drug or procedure that ends the life of an unborn child after the point of conception is an abortion.
The proposed HHS rules define abortion as any of the various procedures including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.
Abortion advocates have a problem with the implantation wording because the morning after pill can cause an abortion, in some instances, of an unborn child between the points of fertilization and implantation.
As a result, the drug is abortifacient in some circumstances and abortion activists would rather have the public believe Plan B is a non-abortion birth control pill that only works to prevent pregnancy not destroy a human life.
Under the proposal, facilities receiving federal funds would be required to sign written certifications that they don’t force staff to be involved in abortions as a prerequisite for receiving the monies.
ACTION: Go to Secretary Leavitt’s web page and leave a pro-life comment urging strong support for the policy to protect pro-life doctors and medical centers from being forced to be involved in abortions. You can leave a comment at https://secretarysblog.hhs.gov
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