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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  1. Rob F said,

    April 15, 2009 at 11:00 am

    The American Medical Association opposed to this regulation because it was overbroad and allowed almost anything to be defined as abortion, even when they clearly were not that. It allowed pharmacists to moralize and put the lives and health of others at risk. That some “conscience”. Repealing this regulation simply restores things to the way they were before. And at that time, there already were laws allowing people not to participate in it, so your concerns are completely unfounded.

    Contraception reduces the number of abortions. And this regulation allowed people to refuse to give it; ie to indirectly increase the abortion. As you are someone who is clearly against abortion, I must ask you, why is it that when given the choice to reduce the abortion rate, you choose to oppose it? Why are you so pro-abortion?

  2. beetlebabee said,

    April 15, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Before I get to your question, Rob, let’s look at conscience laws. Repealing them does yes, by definition take us back to where we were before they were enacted, and yes, there are already laws on the books, however, these laws have not been properly enforced. The laws are not abortion specific. They are conscience specific. If something is against someone’s conscience, what does it profit society to force them to do something against their will? Isn’t that a clear violation of freedom of religion?

  3. Rob F said,

    April 15, 2009 at 11:51 am

    They voluntarily entered their profession and should have known going in that they might have to do something they disagreed with. This is the same reason why I think that American deserters who flee here to Canada so as to avoid serving in Iraq should be deported back; they weren’t drafted, they volunteered, knowing full well that they might face combat, and hence should take responsibility for their action.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    April 16, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Rob, freedom to practice your religion does not stop at the office door.

  5. Rob F said,

    April 17, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Freedom to practice your religion exists in the military, but that doesn’t exempt a Quaker or Mennonite who voluntarily enlisted from facing combat.

  6. beetlebabee said,

    April 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    So that means that people who disagree with abortion have to participate? Even when there are alternatives available? Defending your country is one thing, but every day way of life is another.

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