Pro-Life Advocates Have Last Chance to Help Pro-Life Doctors Avoid Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 24, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Advocates Have Last Chance to Help Pro-Life Doctors Avoid Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 24
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — The last chance for pro-life advocates to weigh in on the Bush administration proposal to strengthen existing protections for pro-life doctors is coming soon. The health department has proposed a way to firm up protections for doctors, hospitals and medical staff who don’t want to be involved in abortions.

Existing laws make it unlawful to discriminate against centers or medical personnel for refusing to be involved in abortions, but the discrimination continues.

Abortion advocates have been strongly opposed to the conscience protections, initially saying that they would stand between women and access to birth control and contraception.

The proposal has been modified to alleviate those issues but pro-abortions groups are still working overtime to flood HHS with comments against the proposal.

Groups like Americans United for Life aren’t standing by and letting the other side dominate the discussion.

AUL has filed comments with the Department of Health and Humans Services affirming the need for a proposed regulation that will protect the freedom of conscience of healthcare providers nationwide.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, told that "Protecting the rights of healthcare providers is critical to the continuing viability and safety of our healthcare system."

"Protecting conscience helps to ensure that providers enter and remain in the healthcare professions, helping to meet the rising demand for quality care," continued Yoest. "Failing to protect freedom of conscience will most certainly compromise basic healthcare for the entire nation."

Denise Burke, the vice-president of AUL and its legal director, added: "Laws such as the proposed HHS regulation acknowledge that certain demands of patients, usually for procedures that are life-destructive and not life-saving, must not be blindly accommodated to the detriment of the freedom of healthcare providers."

The proposed HHS regulation will require recipients of federal funding through HHS to certify compliance with existing federal laws including the Hyde-Weldon Amendment and the Church Amendment, which protect the right of healthcare providers to decline to participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.

In its comments, AUL argues that the proposed regulation is a much-needed and long-overdue enforcement mechanism for existing federal laws protecting healthcare freedom of conscience.

In addition, the failure to adequately protect conscience — through both appropriate laws and requisite enforcement mechanisms — will only exacerbate the existing healthcare crisis in this country.

Related web sites:
AUL’s full comments –

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