Skip to comments.White House proposes wide "conscience clause" on abortion, contraception
Posted on 07/17/2008 4:09:20 PM PDT by markomalley
Washington, Jul. 17, 2008 (CWNews.com) - Under a policy proposed by the Bush White House, the US government would require all recipients of federal health-care payments to certify that they do not discriminate against doctors or nurses who refuse to be involved in abortions.
New White House policies, circulated for comment this week, would ask all institutions receiving federal health-care grants to provide written assurance that they will not fire-- or refuse to hire-- health-care personnel who express moral objections to abortion.
The proposed guidelines extend to some abortifacient drugs that are commonly identified simply as contraceptives. They regulation circulated by the White House seeks protection for doctors and nurses who express moral objections to the use of "any of the various procedures including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.??
The proposed action is "rule making," not a law. The "rule" covers how an executive branch agency implements a law (for example, how, exactly, welfare benefits are made, or how, exactly, radio stations are licensed, or whatever). Therefore, the Executive Branch can do what it likes, as long as the proposed "rule" does not contradict a law. Congress has no role in this function at all.
Thanks Mark. I wonder why he’s waited to the end of his term. I’m guessing the next prez can change the rule.
I think that he may have just realized that he isn't going to get Congress to cooperate on anything (comment not limited to pro-life issues) and so he may as well do what he can by himself before leaving office.
One other thing, had he done this earlier, Congress could have tacked an amendment onto the HHS appropriation bill (or the Defense Authorization Bill or any other legislation that Bush r e a l l y wanted passed to remove the conscience clause with the force of law. The only way the President could have not signed that amendment into law would have been to veto the whole bill (which might have included funding for Iraq...). Considering that there are a number of pro-abort Republicans, he might not have been able to count on the Republicans in Congress for support to get that amendment stricken out (even when the Repubs controlled Congress).
Im guessing the next prez can change the rule.
You got it.