Saturday, February 28, 2009


President Barack Obama wants to rescind a Bush administration rule that strengthened job protections for doctors and nurses who refuse for moral reasons to perform abortions, or supply contraception.
Under the rule, clinics, hospitals and other providers of healthcare would be required to certify that they would not fire a worker who has religious objections to providing any particular "health service." These could include multiple forms of contraception, including some birth control pills, IUDs and emergency "morning after" contraception.
The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days, and it was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, President Barack Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it.
Federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds, but the Bush rule goes one step farther.
The Bush administration's rule adds a requirement that institutions that get federal money certify their compliance with laws protecting the rights of moral objectors. It was intended to block the flow of federal funds to hospitals and other institutions that ignore those rights.

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