Last-minute Bush Abortion Ruling Causes Furor

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A last-minute Bush administration plan to grant sweeping new protections to health care providers who oppose abortion and other procedures on religious or moral grounds has provoked a torrent of objections, including a strenuous protest from the government agency that enforces job-discrimination laws.

The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.  (click here to read the full International Herald Tribune article)

And this is bad how?  Many of the people quoted in the article seem to say that this is an unnecessary regulation.  I can remember hearing stories of pharmacists being fired for not filling prescriptions for the “morning after pill”.  Click here and here to read about a couple such incidences.  So, it seems that this regulation may indeed be necessary. Sadly, Obama’s aides have already said they will try to rescind the regulation.  I hope they will be unsuccessful in that effort but I fear they will succeed.

You can make the argument that the pharmacists, doctors, etc. should have chosen another profession or discussed their beliefs on such issues with their employers prior to accepting the job and I would not dispute that as a valid point.  At the same time, we already have many protections in our country for various religious beliefs.  This regulation, on the face of it, seems to be basic commen sense.  Read the article and give me your opinion.

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3 Responses to “Last-minute Bush Abortion Ruling Causes Furor”

  1. Terra Says:

    I am on the fence on this issue. I don’t want to force people to do things that are against their convictions, but at the same time I live in a small area with only one pharmacy within a 60 mile radius. So for others like me I can see that being a HUGE problem…

    Plus I guess there is the idea that people do things they don’t like for their jobs all the times. (From working at a hard ice cream place and learning to scoop just right so the middle is hollow and turning shakes upside down so it looks like they are fuller than they are to people taking drug tests even though they feel it is an invasion of their rights.) So I am a little bit torn…

  2. l3rucewayne Says:

    On an economic level, not giving this protection will mean many religious believers who will decide not to go into the medical profession because they will fear being forced to do such things or resign. Because I have heard of such situations, I as a religious believer would not want to get into the medical profession for that reason [also I get squeamish], just like I am the disinclined to study biology because I don’t feel like dealing with harassment over my Intelligent Design views.

    On a practical level, I doubt that protecting religious believers from being forced to do such things would create many situations where the employer could not find another employee to do the task.

    On a moral level, I think its pretty obvious, people’s freedom of conscience should not be compromised by fear of getting fired. Perhaps they should have the proposed legislation apply when the employees fail to write it into their work contracts (prominently) that the worker will be expected to be willing to perform such tasks, then those who are uncomfortable with that can go to other work places. (Assuming there are enough such work places to go around.)

  3. Terra Says:

    They can’t ask what religious beliefs you have right? So it can’t effect the people actually getting hired? (I could see a huge problem if they could as that could cause people to actually risk not being hired…)

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