Freedom of Conscience—Actual Experiences of Medical Professionals

You have a vitally important opportunity to immediately send a message to prevent a critical loss of access to healthcare professionals who are being systematically pressured to violate ethical standards. Here’s what’s been happening:

  1. In August 2008, the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS) took long-overdue action to address a growing crisis of abortion-related discrimination that could force thousands of conscientious healthcare professionals out of medicine. After several months of public comment on its proposed regulation, in December 2008 HHS finalized a regulation that made clear the protections offered by three civil rights laws passed by Congress with bipartisan support.
  2. The civil rights laws declare that American tax dollars will not fund programs in which healthcare professionals are fired, penalized or otherwise subjected to discrimination because of their ethical stance related to abortion and other morally controversial issues.
  3. However, in March 2009, following protests from abortion special interest groups, the new administration officially declared plans to rescind–get rid of–the conscience-protecting regulation. The administration has, as required by law, called for public comment on the proposed plan to get rid of the conscience-protecting regulation, with a deadline of April 9, 2009.

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