Abortion and conscience

As I’ve previously noted, I have issues with the “conscience clauses” being used to protect pharmacists from providing birth control or “Plan B” contraceptives.
The Bush administration’s 2008 conscience clause was one of the worst. This covered not only doctors who refused to provide abortions, but it appeared to cover pretty much anyone—ambulance drivers, janitors, receptionists—who didn’t want to provide services for someone seeking an abortion. Or treat a gay individual with AIDS. Or provide infertility treatment. The blogger Echidne speculated (don’t have the exact link) someone could get a job as receptionist at an abortion clinic, refuse to book appointments on grounds of conscience and presumably she couldn’t be fired.
Happily, the Obama administration has finally rescinded the regulation. Doctors and nurses can still refuse to participate in an abortion, but the wide scope of the rule has been sharply curtailed.
The fight, of course, goes on. The Tea Party Congress is pushing legislation that would not only allow a hospital to refuse someone coming to the E/R for a lifesaving abortion, they wouldn’t have to arrange transportation to a more cooperative hospital (much as some people say pharmacists who oppose birth control should be able to confiscate patients’ prescriptions). And the Catholic Church maintains a hard line on doctors or staff who do anything related to abortion or birth-control, even to preserve the health of the mother.
Still, good for Obama. These days every little victory counts.

1 Comment

Filed under Politics

One response to “Abortion and conscience

  1. To the poster who mentioned about the Tea Party agenda, as if everybody agreed it was a threat, please consider this viewpoint. And about ten more from different angles.

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