Thirteen States Protest Conscience Rights for Doctors, Hospitals on Abortions
by Steven Ertelt
September 24, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With the deadline on the proposal just days away, pro-abortion officials in thirteen states have filed comments with the Bush administration saying they disagree with a proposed policy that would strengthen federal laws protecting doctors and hospitals from being forced to do abortions.
The attorneys general of 13 states sent letters on Wednesday to the Department of Health and Human Services protesting the rule and claiming it is too vague.
It would require thousands of employers to certify in writing that they are not discriminating against medical personnel by making them be involved in abortions against their desires.
The states officially protesting the conscience protections include Arizona, Conneticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah and Vermont.
According to an AP report, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal claimed the protection "threatens to drastically discourage and even deter a woman’s right to choose."
"This proposed rule unconscionably puts personal agendas before patient care … failing even to acknowledge the rights of rape victims and others to access birth control and related vital health services," he claims.
However, Heath and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has already revised the proposal to make sure it does not affect access to birth control and contraception.
Vagueness and broad application, together with the penalty of withdrawal of critical federal health care funding to a health care entity that violates even inadvertently the proposed regulation may have substantial and significant consequences for the provision of health care to many Americans, the officials said in the letter, according to AP.
As LifeNews.com reported today, a leading pro-life group Americans United for Life also filed comments with the health department supporting the policy.
Under the rule, state and local governments and employers who discriminate against medical staff on abortions could lose federal funds.
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