Abortion Advocates Submit Petitions to Bush Admin Against Pro-Life Doctors

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 21, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Abortion Advocates Submit Petitions to Bush Admin Against Pro-Life Doctors

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
August 21
, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Abortion advocacy groups submitted hundreds of thousands of petitions to the Bush administration on Wednesday opposing a draft measure that would enforce existing laws protecting pro-life doctors. They delivered the petitions to the Department of Health and Human Services, which is behind the idea.

The Bush administration has proposed new regulations targeting medical facilities that receive federal funds and making sure they follow federal laws on conscience rights.

Specifically, the centers can’t discriminate against pro-life doctors, nurses, or other medical personnel who don’t want to be involved in abortions. Likewise, state governments can’t discriminate against medical facilities that don’t want to do abortions on site.

Planned Parenthood and the political web site MoveOn submitted a petition with 325,000 names on Wednesday, but the groups collected the names by misrepresenting the proposal.

The draft protecting medical centers and personnel includes a definition of abortion that discusses the procedure as something that destroys the life of an unborn child following conception.

The pro-abortion groups have misrepresented the proposal as defining contraception as abortion and falsely claiming the Bush administration is trying to limit or prohibit contraception.

As LifeNews.com previously reported, Secretary Mike Leavitt, the head of the Health and Human Services deportment, said the pro-abortion reading of the proposal is incorrect and added that targeting contraception is not the intention of the draft.

"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."

Yet, on Wednesday, Ellen Golombek, vice president of external affairs for the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, repeated the claims.

"Our opinion is that this drastically impacts women’s health care and their access to birth control and actually takes some forms of birth control and interprets them as abortion, particularly hormonal birth control," she said.

In his previous comments, Leavitt 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."

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.”

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.

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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