Pro-Life Senator Will Protest Doing Abortions If Obama Overturns Health Rules

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Life Senator Will Protest Doing Abortions If Obama Overturns Health Rules

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
March 2
, 2009

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Tom Coburn is more than just a United States senator, he is also an OBGYN back in his hometown in Oklahoma. With President Barack Obama looking to overturn rules protecting doctors who don’t want to do abortions, Coburn says he will protest the move if he is ever forced to participate in one.

Coburn told the Cybercast News Service on Friday that he will join tens of thousands of other medical professionals who would rather go to jail than be forced to do an abortion.

“I think a lot of us will go to jail,” Coburn said. "Let’s see them prosecute the first one of us for not doing that.”

A Coburn representative told CNSNews.com that the senator "meant that doctors, himself included, are willing to defy the law before agreeing to perform medical procedures that violate their conscience."

On Friday, the administration announced it would start the process of overturning protections President Bush put in place to make sure medical staff and centers are not forced to do abortions.

Existing federal laws already make it so doctors and hospitals are not required to perform abortions. Because those laws aren’t always followed by local governments or medical centers that receive federal funding, the Bush administration added additional protections.

Bush officials noted a pattern of grant recipients being unaware of or flouting existing laws protecting medical professionals’ rights of conscience. So, HHS enacted the new regulations to require grantees to certify compliance with them in order to receive funds.

In August, 2008 the Department of Health and Human Services proposed regulations to strengthen those existing laws. The regulations were finalized on December 18, 2008 and went into effect January 20, 2009.

Obama officials said that they are opening up a 30-day public comment period, after which they will roll back the protections for medical personnel and facilities.

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