Survey : Majority of Doctors Support Bush Admin Abortion Conscience Rule

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 30, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Survey : Majority of Doctors Support Bush Admin Abortion Conscience Rule

by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 30
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new survey finds half of physicians nationwide support the new rules the Bush administration put in place that protect the conscience rights of doctors on abortion. The rules make it so medical centers and staff aren’t forced to do abortions or refer for them.

They provide better enforcement for existing federal laws by potentially revoking federal funding from violators and making them certify in writing that they will respect conscience rights.

A new national study among 1,736 physicians conducted by HCD Research reveals 50 percent of physicians support the new rules. Just 33 percent oppose the rules and the rest had no opinion.

A majority of those who responded also said they believed the "government should be involved in protecting health workers who refuse to participate in care they find ethically, morally or religiously objectionable."

A majority of physicians who responded also agreed with the statement that "doctors and hospitals have the right to refuse to perform any procedure that is inconsistent with their personal beliefs.

However, while doctors supported the conscience rights on abortion, they didn’t think the rule should include revoking the funding of government entities or medical centers that violate those rights. Some 43 percent said no while 22 percent said funding should be revoked and the rest did not answer.

However, nearly three-quarters (73%) did not agree that health care professionals have the right to withhold information about where a patient can obtain the care they need.

The HCD question in that case did not specifically include abortion, so it remains unknown whether physicians believe doctors should be required to make abortion referrals when they won’t do an abortion themselves.

As has reported, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says he will lead a fight against the federal rule and is expected to file a lawsuit against it.

Though the new regulations have nothing to do with birth control, Blumenthal is echoing the arguments from leading pro-abortion groups who claim its access will be adversely impacted by them.

He said he will resume working with pro-abortion officials in the other states to derail the pro-life protections for medical centers and staff — slated to take effect on January 20.

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