The long-awaited decision by President Barack Obama to overturn conscience protections the Bush administration put in place to protect pro-life medical workers who don’t want to be involved in certain medical procedures has finally occurred.Imagine how much less freedom of conscience they will have if ObamaCare is allowed to stand? More thought from Alber Mohler via Justin Taylor:
In 2008, the Bush administration issued a rule that prohibited recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in medical procedures to which they have religious or moral objections. The rule implemented existing conscience protection laws that ensure medical professionals cannot be denied employment because they do not want to assist in abortions.
At the end of February 2009, the Obama administration announced it began “reviewing” the regulations implementing conscience laws, the first step toward rescinding the rule.
Today, the administration rescinded part of the protections today with the Health and Human Services Department scrapping a portion of the rule, which it called “unclear and potentially overbroad in scope.” Obama officials put a new rule in place that leaves in place protections on abortion but offers no protection for medical workers who have moral or religious objections to dispensing or giving to women the Plan B drug or other emergency contraception that could act in some cases as an abortion drug.
“The department supports clear and strong conscience protections for health-care providers who are opposed to performing abortions,” the rule states, according to a Washington Post report.
The new regulation goes into effect in 30 days and the Post says it ensures no federal funds can be used to “support coercive or discriminatory policies or practices in violation of federal law.”
“The administration strongly supports provider conscience laws that protect and support the rights of health care providers, and also recognizes and supports the rights of patients. Strong conscience laws make it clear that health care providers cannot be compelled to perform or assist in an abortion. Many of these strong conscience laws have been in existence for more than 30 years. The rule being issued today builds on these laws by providing a clear enforcement process,” a statement from HHS said.
Reacting to the decision, Dr. J. Scott Ries, speaking for the 16,000-member Christian Medical Association, protested what he called a decision to “weaken the only federal regulation protecting the exercise of conscience in health care.”
“The administration has made changes in a vital civil rights regulation without evidence or justification,” he told LifeNews.com. “The administration presented no evidence of any problems in healthcare access, prescriptions or procedures that have occurred in the two years since the original regulation’s enactment that would justify any change in this protective regulation.”
In other words, the Obama administration is now ready to use the coercive power of the state to force medical personnel to perform acts they consider to be morally wrong and unhealthy for their patients. One obvious implication of this is that the state now finds it necessary to force medical professionals to do what they by conscience do not think is right. Allowed to act by conscience, these medical professionals clearly would not do what the state now requires them to do.President Obama may idolize China a little too much these days. Obama cannot force women to have abortions but he can now force the medical community to be involved in them against their will.
Just imagine how our nation’s founders would consider such a tyrannical trampling of individual conscience by the power of the state. From a Christian perspective, this should serve as a clear alarm for those who suggest that it is paranoid to believe that the state will use similar force to require other acts against conscience. The logic is right here for all to see, and only the willfully blind can deny what this new policy means.