Saturday, February 19, 2011
Obama Administration Revises Bush-Era Religious Refusal Rule
The New York Times: A Bush Rule on Providers of Abortions Is Revised, by Robert Pear:
The Obama administration on Friday rescinded most of a 2008 rule that granted sweeping protections to health care providers who opposed abortion, sterilization and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.
Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the rule, issued in the last days of the Bush administration, could “negatively impact patient access to contraception and certain other medical services.”
Federal laws make clear that health care providers cannot be compelled to perform or assist in an abortion, Ms. Sebelius said. The Bush rule went far beyond these laws and upset the balance between patients’ rights to obtain health care and “the conscience rights of health care providers,” she added. . . .