Pro-Life Group Urges Comments to Bush Admin on Protecting Docs on Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
September 6, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Although the presidential race has attracted most of the political attention of the pro-life community during the last few weeks, a leading Christian medical group hopes pro-life advocates will keep in mind another battle brewing in the nations capital.
The Christian Medical Association joined numerous groups within the pro-life movement last month in applauding the Bush administration for a move to protect pro-life doctors.
With President Bushs support, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt put the final touches on a new policy adding teeth to existing laws protecting pro-life medical professionals and medical facilities that dont want to be involved in abortions.
While existing laws give the personnel and medical centers the ability to opt out of abortions and not face employment discrimination, the new policies provide some level of enforcement by revoking federal funding from those medical centers or state and local governments that discriminate anyway.
Jonathan Imbody, the vice president for government relations for the Christian Medical Association, urges support for the new policy and wants pro-life advocates to speak up.
He says there is a great need for the conscience-protecting regulation recently proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
The regulation would implement 35 years of civil rights laws passed by Congress to protect health-care professionals from discrimination, coercion and job loss for adhering to life-affirming ethical standards, he explains. The regulation would simply disallow forcing professionals to perform elective abortions and other procedures that violate millennia of medical ethics codes.
Imbody responds to pro-abortion criticism of the Bush administration initiative and the claims that medical professionals would somehow stop treating other patients engaged in controversial behaviors.
Contrary to that assertion, health-care professionals would continue to care as always for wounded soldiers, AIDS patients, post-abortive teenagers, felons and drunk drivers.
In fact, the regulations would protect patient access to the compassionate, conscientious health-care professionals who are among the most dedicated to caring for such individuals, he says.
With a September 19 deadline approaching for public comment on the proposed regulations, Imbody says pro-life groups and individuals need to get involved now.
ACTION: Official comments on the specific questions in the regulations proposed by the HHS document may be submitted by September 19 at: https://www.Regulations.gov or via e-mail to [email protected].
To submit electronic comments at www.Regulations.gov, go to the Web site and click on the link Comment or Submission and enter the keywords provider conscience.
Be sure to address the specific questions solicited in the proposed regulations under the heading, "Request for Comment." In commenting, please refer to Provider Conscience Regulation.
General comments that do not specifically address the questions in the proposed regulations may be submitted on the Secretarys blog at https://secretarysblog.hhs.gov.
Imbody also suggests commentaries such as letters to the editor and op-eds to newspapers.
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