Katie Favazza points out that the Barack Obama administration wants to rescind the rules on conscience exemptions put in place in the last days of the Bush administration. I wrote about this at the time that Obama proposed eliminating the rule, which won’t force doctors or hospitals to perform abortions (they’re protected by law, not administrative rules), but will eliminate the extension of those protections to others in the health-care industry. Katie gives a detailed argument for opposition to Obama’s action:
It is clear that a majority of Americans, no matter their political leanings or personal religious stances, agree that the conscience clause must remain on the books. The numbers above do not represent slight majorities and cannot be ignored. …
On March 10, 2009, 36 U.S. senators sent a letter to Obama in support of conscience protections. (Clicking that link will download the PDF file, courtesy of Family Research Council.) It’s more of a gesture, of course, but the senators who took a stand and signed the letter should have the support of Catholics and others who support conscience protections.
Katie points readers to Heritage Foundation’s microsite on the issue, A Doctor’s Right, which has a tool for opponents to generate public comments and submit them to Health and Human Services before time expires tomorrow. I signed the petition, and I’d encourage others to do the same. It’s good to get our opposition on record and use public forums for that purpose.
That said, this is little more than checking a box for the Obama administration. Obama sold himself to Planned Parenthood years ago, and they call the shots on these policies. The comment process is a pro forma prerequisite to making the change, and even if comments ran 10-1 against, it wouldn’t make a lick of difference for the man who refused to protect infants from negligent homicide in abortion mills.
Be sure to read my original post. Obama’s effort to reverse the rules demonstrates his priorities, but this is less than meets the eye, at least for now.