Obama Wrong to Violate Pro-Life Doctors’ Conscience Rights

Opinion   |   Kristan Hawkins   |   May 23, 2011   |   11:12AM   |   Washington, DC

During the past two years, Americans have seen the expansion of the federal government into sectors of their economy and personal life as never before.  And earlier this year, the Obama administration quietly moved into a new area of American life, one of its most intimate, the patient-doctor relationship.

Like the Obama takeovers of the automobile industry, the banking industry and then the health care industry, the new conscience-rights assault is the administration’s latest attempt to fundamentally change our nation as we know it.

In February, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the rescission of most of the Bush administration’s 2008 conscience protections, removing the rights of doctors, pharmacists and other medical professionals to object to prescribing or dispensing known abortifacient drugs such as Plan B and ella.  This rescission sends a clear signal to medical professionals nationwide—leave your conscience at the door, and if you morally object to a medical procedure or medication, then you should be in another business.

When Students for Life, Medical Students for Life and other pro-life medical groups wrote to HHS about the rescission, the agency defended its decision and cited the federal definition of abortion, arguing that abortion-causing drugs such as Plan B and ella are not covered under the definition of abortion, and therefore doctors do not have the right to refuse to prescribe or dispense these dangerous drugs.

So now, faith-based and conscience doctors who truly care about their patients (born and preborn) and who recognize the scientific fact that life begins at conception, will not be able to exercise their civil right of conscience and will be forced to compromise their patient-based care.

This dangerous policy by the Obama administration puts both patients and medical professionals at risk.  A recent Christian Medical  & Dental Association (CMDA) poll shows Americans want their physicians to have the ability to express their opinions freely about drugs and medical procedures.  CMDA released polling data on May 3 showing that 77% of American adults believe that it is important to “make sure that health care professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.”

The Obama administration’s attempt to destroy the sacred doctor-patient relationship is frightening to say the least.

Since when did the President of the United States obtain the right to force physicians and medical professionals to violate their conscience?  I must have missed that constitutional amendment in history class.