View Poll Results: Should Obama rescind the Conscience Rule?

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  • Yes - People have the right to abortion information.

    3 33.33%
  • No - This would rescind the personal freedom of health care workers.

    5 55.56%
  • Don't know / No opinion

    1 11.11%
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Thread: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

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    Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    So what do you think? Vote now.

    Here is my take on it. I think it would be a bad decision - a blow to the personal freedom of those who have an honest ethical disagreement on abortion, and rescinding the conscience rule would not allow them to practice their faith. Those who know me here know that I am not against abortion, and I have posted my position repeatedly. However, it is not up to the Federal government to legislate what morality is, one way or the other. We saw enough of this from Bush. Let us let Obama know that we do not accept the Federal government's sticking its nose into personal affairs.

    The way I see it, if someone is against abortion, they have the right to refuse to counsel people on getting abortions. If the patient does not agree with the health care worker's stance, she can always go to a different health care worker who believes that abortion is OK, and is cool with counseling for it.

    It's all about personal freedom, folks, something that both Republicans and Democrats, given the opportunity, would like to flush down the toilet.

    Article is here.
    Last edited by danarhea; 02-27-09 at 12:13 PM.
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    It's also about the personal freedom to not take jobs that may require something of you that you don't like. Using the conscience rule, should I be a mailman and choose not to deliver the mail to a house I thought belonged to a Christian? Should IBM be forced by law to let me keep my job because I refused to created some software that might end up being used for the military? The thing about the conscience rule is that it goes against every conservative principle I can think of, but because it was created so fewer abortions might be performed they're all for it.

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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    The rule was nothing but blatant authoritarianism on the part of the Bush Administration. If you have a personal issue with abortion, then don't work for an abortion provider. What this "conscience rule" does is allow a radical pro-lifer to get a job with say, Planned Parenthood, and then use their personal objections to abortion to impede the organizations work.

    The rule was unneeded anyway as previous rules allowed health care workers to refuse to abortion or other services they were morally opposed to. The AMA opposed the new rule as well as just about every major medical group.

    You can read about it here: Controversy Over New 'Conscience' Rule

    From the article: "The letter suggests that the new protections are so broad, receptionists could refuse to schedule patients for medically necessary services, and people who "clean or maintain equipment or rooms" could interrupt patient care."
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    The rule was nothing but blatant authoritarianism on the part of the Bush Administration. If you have a personal issue with abortion, then don't work for an abortion provider. What this "conscience rule" does is allow a radical pro-lifer to get a job with say, Planned Parenthood, and then use their personal objections to abortion to impede the organizations work.

    The rule was unneeded anyway as previous rules allowed health care workers to refuse to abortion or other services they were morally opposed to. The AMA opposed the new rule as well as just about every major medical group.

    You can read about it here: Controversy Over New 'Conscience' Rule

    From the article: "The letter suggests that the new protections are so broad, receptionists could refuse to schedule patients for medically necessary services, and people who "clean or maintain equipment or rooms" could interrupt patient care."
    Why would a pro-lifer work for Planned Parenthood?
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    the law has long protected medical providers from being forced to perform abortions. The Bush regulations are an attempt to rewrite and expand existing law.

    The Church Amendments were enacted in the 70s after Roe v. Wade to ensure that recipients of federal funds are not required to perform abortion or sterilization services.

    § 300a–7. Sterilization or abortion

    The receipt of any grant, contract, loan, or loan guarantee under the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.], the Community Mental Health Centers Act [42 U.S.C. 2689 et seq.], or the Developmental Disabilities Services and Facilities Construction Act [42 U.S.C. 6000 et seq.] by any individual or entity does not authorize any court or any public official or other public authority to require—

    (1) such individual to perform or assist in the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if his performance or assistance in the performance of such procedure or abortion would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions; or

    (2) such entity to—

    (A) make its facilities available for the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if the performance of such procedure or abortion in such facilities is prohibited by the entity on the basis of religious beliefs or moral convictions, or

    (B) provide any personnel for the performance or assistance in the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if the performance or assistance in the performance of such procedures or abortion by such personnel would be contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such personnel.
    The Coats Amendment was enacted in 1996 and prevents the government from withholding funds from health care entities and medical schools that refuse to provide abortion training.

    42 U.S.C. § 238n

    (a) In general
    The Federal Government, and any State or local government that
    receives Federal financial assistance, may not subject any health
    care entity to discrimination on the basis that -

    (1) the entity refuses to undergo training in the performance
    of induced abortions, to require or provide such training, to
    perform such abortions, or to provide referrals for such training
    or such abortions;

    (2) the entity refuses to make arrangements for any of the
    activities specified in paragraph (1); or

    (3) the entity attends (or attended) a post-graduate physician
    training program, or any other program of training in the health
    professions, that does not (or did not) perform induced abortions
    or require, provide or refer for training in the performance of
    induced abortions, or make arrangements for the provision of such
    training.

    (b) Accreditation of postgraduate physician training programs

    (1) In general
    In determining whether to grant a legal status to a health care
    entity (including a license or certificate), or to provide such
    entity with financial assistance, services or other benefits, the
    Federal Government, or any State or local government that
    receives Federal financial assistance, shall deem accredited any
    postgraduate physician training program that would be accredited
    but for the accrediting agency's reliance upon an accreditation
    standards (!1) that requires an entity to perform an induced
    abortion or require, provide, or refer for training in the
    performance of induced abortions, or make arrangements for such
    training, regardless of whether such standard provides exceptions
    or exemptions. The government involved shall formulate such
    regulations or other mechanisms, or enter into such agreements
    with accrediting agencies, as are necessary to comply with this
    subsection.
    The Weldon Amendment has been added to the appropriations measure that funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education since 2004. it prohibits the recipients of such funds from discriminating against individuals, health care facilities, insurance plans, and other entities because they refuse to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.


    Consolidated Appropriation Act of 2005, Pub. L. No. 108-447, § 508(a), (d)(1)-(2), 118 Stat. 2829 (2004)


    (d)(1) None of the funds made available in this Act may be made available to a Federal agency or program, or to a State or local government, if such agency, program, or government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

    (2) In this subsection, the term ‘‘health care entity’’ includes an individual physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan.
    supposedly, the bush regulations enforce these laws, but they go clearly beyond them.

    it expands what services may be refused and who may refuse them.

    This page goes into some detail:

    The draft regulations greatly expand the ability of institutions and individuals to refuse to provide basic reproductive health services by re-writing the existing federal law laws in four main ways.

    1) The draft regulations would extend the reach of the laws described above – all of which were intended by Congress to cover only abortion and, in some instances, sterilization -- to cover some the most widely used forms of contraception.

    2) The draft regulations broadly reinterpret who may refuse to provide this wide range of services. For example, in enacting the Coats Amendment, Congress specifically covered only health care professionals in training programs and health care training programs with a religious or moral objection to abortion. Now, under the draft regulations, the Coats Amendment would cover not only those individuals and programs, but also hospitals, HMOs, health insurance plans, laboratories, and any other kind of health care organization or facility.

    3) The regulations expand the types of places where individuals may refuse to provide services. For example, the Weldon Amendment currently prohibits “federal programs” from “discriminating” against institutions and individuals who refuse to participate in abortion procedures. The draft regulations interpret “federal program” to include any private, non-governmental organization that receives money from the Department of Health and Human Services. This would include all Title X recipients.

    4) The regulations reduce the degree of connection to the objected-to service one must have in order to obtain an exception. For example, the Church Amendments prohibit “discrimination” against health care professionals who refuse to perform or assist in the performance of abortion services. The draft regulations define “assist in the performance” broadly to include individuals with only a tangential connection to the procedure. For example, the draft regulations specifically permit an employee whose job it is to clean medical instruments to refuse to clean instruments used to insert an IUD.
    its one thing to say that doctors should not be forced to perform abortions.

    its another thing to say that medical organizations should be forced to hire or keep doctors who refuse to perform abortions.

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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Why would a pro-lifer work for Planned Parenthood?
    to stir up trouble, but you are right that it is a bit of a far fetched example.

    More realistic examples include staff who refuse to participate in abortions in limited circumstances, such as a patient who has had 3 previous abortions.

    there are also a lot of people out there such as talloulou who object to abortion, but not to contraception.

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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Why would a pro-lifer work for Planned Parenthood?
    With the conscience rule, a pro-life activist could get a job at Planned Parenthood as a receptionist, then refuse to answer the phone because of issues of conscience, and they could not fire him or her.
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    With the conscience rule, a pro-life activist could get a job at Planned Parenthood as a receptionist, then refuse to answer the phone because of issues of conscience, and they could not fire him or her.
    Actually, they COULD fire her, and it would be for poor work performance.
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernDemocrat View Post
    With the conscience rule, a pro-life activist could get a job at Planned Parenthood as a receptionist, then refuse to answer the phone because of issues of conscience, and they could not fire him or her.
    I doubt the rule reads like that.
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    Re: Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'

    Quote Originally Posted by danarhea View Post
    Actually, they COULD fire her, and it would be for poor work performance.
    And then, being she was a Pro-Life activist, she would turn around and sue them claiming she was fired not due to performance, but rather due to her personal beliefs coming into conflict with what the asked her to do.

    Its just a very bad idea to have these kinds of authoritarian dictates being placed upon private enterprises. Their was nothing wrong with the protections that were in place before.
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