Thursday, December 18, 2008

Score one for conscience

Lest we forget, in spite of war, torture, etc, the Bush Administration has actually accomplished quite a bit on the anti-abortion front. I think it is important to call attention to this.

From the New York Times: Medical ‘Conscience Rule’ Is Issued
The Bush administration, as expected, announced new protections on Thursday for health care providers who oppose abortion and other medical procedures on religious or moral grounds.

“Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience,” Michael O. Leavitt, the secretary of Health and Human Services, said in a statement on his department’s Web site.

The rule prohibits recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in procedures because of their convictions, and it bars hospitals, clinics, doctors’ office and pharmacies from forcing their employees to assist in programs and activities financed by the department.

“This rule protects the right of medical providers to care for their patients in accord with their conscience,” Mr. Leavitt said.

The Bush administration had signaled its intention to issue the measures, which are part of a flurry of regulations it is announcing before President-elect Barack Obama takes office. The new president will be able to undo the regulations, and is virtually certain to, given his previous comments on the issue. But undoing them will be a time-consuming process...
Ban on partial-birth abortion, elimination of funds spent on abortions abroad, protection of conscience for doctors, limiting of federal funding on human embryonic stem-cell research: these are things for which I am exceedingly grateful. If one were to speak of hope without sounding too cliché, I hope that Obama will work to protect all human life.

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