Friday, August 1, 2008

BUSH REGIME PLANS NEW WAR ON BIRTH CONTROL, ABORTION

Rob Stein, Washington Post - A Bush administration proposal aimed at protecting health-care workers who object to abortion, and to birth-control methods they consider tantamount to abortion, has escalated a bitter debate over the balance between religious freedom and patients' rights. The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.

Conservative groups, abortion opponents and some members of Congress are welcoming the initiative as necessary to safeguard doctors, nurses and other health workers who, they say, are increasingly facing discrimination because of their beliefs or are being coerced into delivering services they find repugnant.

But the draft proposal has sparked intense criticism by family planning advocates, women's health activists, and members of Congress who say the regulation would create overwhelming obstacles for women seeking abortions and birth control.

There is also deep concern that the rule could have far- reaching, but less obvious, implications. Because of its wide scope and because it would - apparently for the first time - define abortion in a federal regulation as anything that affects a fertilized egg, the regulation could raise questions about a broad spectrum of scientific research and care, critics say.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home