Saturday, February 28, 2009

Repeal of the Bush "Abortion Rule"

The administration will publish notice of its intention to repeal the "Religious Belief and Moral Conviction Medical Care" Bush administration rule.

The alleged reason for the Bush administration rule was to regulate discrimination in the course of assisting in the performance of any health service in general, and abortion in particular, based on religious belief and moral conviction.

Adhering to the strict science standards we've all come to expect from the Bush administration, here are the terms not defined in the Bush era rule: "abortion", "discrimination", "religious belief and moral conviction", and "health service."

On the other hand, the rule is quite detailed when it comes to who's covered by it. Basically everything from hospitals to labs and State and local governments, to everybody, from physicians to snowplow operators working a hospital parking lot.

According to the White House:

...Obama supports a "carefully crafted" conscience clause — not Bush's version.

"He believes this issue requires a balance between the rights of providers and the health of women and their families, a balance that the last-minute Bush rule appears to upset," the statement said.

The administration will review comments from the public before making a final decision. Options range from repealing the regulation to writing a new one with a narrower scope.

Since federal law has long forbidden discrimination against health care professionals who refuse proper care to reproductive-age female patients or provide referrals for them on religious or moral grounds, we'll just have to wait and see if the Obama administration decides to add some more unnecessary regulations to the existing pile of "conscience clause" regulations.

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