This is a guest post from Timmerie Millington:
He said he would repeal conscience rights, and indeed he has. While America has actively pursued the de-funding of Planned Parenthood President Obama has had an agenda of his own that violates the rights of all medical practitioners and hospitals. On Friday President Obama rescinded nearly all of the conscience protections put into place by President Bush in 2008. This means that even if it is against ones personal ethical principles, medical providers are now required to refer people for birth control, “emergency” birth control (which could mean abortions if found necessary), abortifacient drugs, and more.
However, the Health and Human Services Department rule does state, “The department supports clear and strong conscience protections for health-care providers who are opposed to performing abortions,”.
Catholic health care facilities form the largest not- for-profit health service sector in the US, caring for nearly one sixth of all US hospital patients each year, which amounted to more than 5.6 million patients in 2008. When first elected into office, President Obama focused his attention on a piece of legislation known as the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which among other things, would have eliminated Conscience Protections for hospitals and health care providers. In a show down with the Catholic Church, the Church vowed to shut down all Catholic health care facilities should their Conscience Rights be denied. Due to overwhelming public outcry, the President moved his focus from the Freedom of Choice Act, and committed to achieving the goals of FOCA incrementally through individual pieces of legislation and executive order. This brings us to today. The incremental chipping away of conscience rights has begun; the president is doing exactly what he promised to Planned Parenthood, and the National Organization of Women. This, indeed is a water shed issue, and the president has no intention of stopping with the narrowed set of conscience rights he has stripped from health care facilities and providers.
Stand with health care workers so that they are not forced to refer anyone for services that violate human rights. Spread the word and be ready to take action with congress!
Standing In Defence of the Voiceless,