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Some Docs Resist Repeal Of Bush-Era Abortion Regs
NPR ^ | Jul 06, 2009 | Julie Rovner

Posted on 07/07/2009 11:48:42 AM PDT by presidio9

Some doctors who oppose abortion say that if President Obama repeals controversial Bush administration regulations that allow doctors to refuse to provide care that conflicts with their beliefs, they would rather quit their practice than provide care that violates their conscience.

Doctors who oppose abortion and, in some cases, birth control pills say they may stop providing care if the Obama administration follows through on threats to repeal controversial Bush administration regulations aimed at allowing health care workers to refuse to provide care that conflicts with their beliefs. Opponents of the rules point out that those health care workers have plenty of other protections to fall back on.

According to a survey conducted for the Christian Medical Association, "90 percent of those surveyed said they will quit their practices before violating their conscience," said David Stevens, the group's executive director. Repealing the rules, which officially took effect on former President Bush's final day in office, said Stevens, "sends a clear message: It's open season on health care professionals of conscience — discriminate at will."

But not so fast, says Nancy Berlinger, deputy director of the Hastings Center, a bioethics think tank in Garrison, N.Y. "Conscience clauses are on the books in almost every state," she said, in addition to being codified in a series of federal laws.

Most date back to the early 1970s, after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the landmark ruling Roe v. Wade.

"The idea was that when abortion moved from being an illegal procedure, therefore something that you did not offer in a hospital, to being a legal procedure, therefore something that you might offer in a hospital, there was a move to protect providers — usually framed as physicians, but sometimes they're more generally written — from having to participate in abortions," Berlinger said.

But conscience laws are not always abortion-specific. Many reference sterilization; some are silent, allowing practitioners to exercise their right to opt out of providing sometimes controversial end-of-life care, in vitro fertilization, or even some birth control pills that some practitioners insist cause very early abortions by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in a woman's uterus.

Joxel Garcia, who was assistant secretary for health in the Bush administration and helped write the regulations now at issue, said they're needed because so few health workers even know that protections exist. He didn't, he said, when he was applying to be a medical resident in obstetrics and gynecology in the late 1980s and was told point-blank not to apply to certain programs if he wouldn't do abortions.

"I didn't know at that time that those facilities that were receiving federal funds were not supposed to discriminate against me because I did not perform terminations of pregnancy or abortions," he said.

Garcia also said the regulations give health care workers "a mechanism to seek help" through the Department of Health and Human Services.

But Berlinger, like many other opponents of the rules, thinks they are so vague that they would let any health worker object to providing any service at any time for any reason — even reasons that don't necessarily stand up to scientific scrutiny.

"Words like belief," she said, "when you talk about them in the context of health care, aren't just anything you might think of. They have to be defensible. And a false belief about science or the promotion of ambiguity where things can be disambiguated," as in the idea that birth control is equal to abortion, "is not ethical."

All of which puts the Obama administration in a tight spot. President Obama has been eager to find a middle ground in the touchy abortion debate. Administration officials can try to rewrite the rules, which will undoubtedly anger abortion-rights and other women's health groups. Or they can repeal them, which will anger anti-abortion groups.

A decision is expected later this summer.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: agenda; bho44; bhoabortion; conscienceclause

1 posted on 07/07/2009 11:48:42 AM PDT by presidio9
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To: presidio9

The technical question I have here is: what comes of it if Obama no longer tells his agencies to obey the law? If they then disobey the law, who has standing to bring action against them?


2 posted on 07/07/2009 11:52:50 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (Think of the D Party as what it really is: a criminal organization masquerading as a political party)
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To: presidio9
Repealing the rules, which officially took effect on former President Bush's final day in office, said Stevens, "sends a clear message: It's open season on health care professionals of conscience — discriminate at will."

It is good to see that President Bush saw these rules as so important that he wasted no time and implemented them on the very first last day of his administration.

3 posted on 07/07/2009 11:57:34 AM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

“If they then disobey the law, who has standing to bring action against them?”

I would say “We The People”


4 posted on 07/07/2009 11:57:44 AM PDT by mkcc30 ("Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.")
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To: presidio9

“But Berlinger, like many other opponents of the rules, thinks they are so vague that they would let any health worker object to providing any service at any time for any reason — even reasons that don’t necessarily stand up to scientific scrutiny.”

I have no problem with that. I’d rather have a nation that still values liberty than the Totalitarian Death State we are headed for.


5 posted on 07/07/2009 12:00:36 PM PDT by Seruzawa (Obamalama lied, the republic died.)
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To: presidio9

I see nothing ‘controversial’ about a doctor refusing to perform treatments the state permits but that violate his own principles. Do we want doctor’s being forced to do lobotomies on ‘enemies’ of the state? participate in final solutions?


6 posted on 07/07/2009 12:05:07 PM PDT by Old North State
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To: trumandogz
You do understand what the phrase "took effect" means, don't you? Not proposed. Not drafted or signed into law. That's when they finally took effect.

Since the first thing Bush did on his first day in office was throw out Clinton's executive order paying Federal funds to foreign abortion providers and stopping abortions on military bases abroad, your snarky comment is proof of your ignorance.

7 posted on 07/07/2009 12:05:35 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: presidio9

There you go. Force doctors to retire right before you add 20,000,000 patients to the medical rolls.


8 posted on 07/07/2009 12:10:37 PM PDT by Tanniker Smith (Obi-Wan Palin: Strike her down and she shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.)
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To: Deb

Yes, I understand what the words “took effect” mean and wonder why such rules did not take effect sometime earlier than 1/20/2009.

BTW-The topic at hand has nothing whatsoever to do with America’s funding of abortions at overseas military installations, but rather medical providers right to object to certain procedures while in the United States.


9 posted on 07/07/2009 12:11:37 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: Old North State
Do we want doctor’s being forced to do lobotomies on ‘enemies’ of the state? participate in final solutions?

You touched on our Unalienable Rights, the Natural Law philosophy of our Founders. No one need tell you that killing innocent babies, performing lobotomies on political enemies, or final solutions are wrong. No human law can make them right because they violate Natural Law and as such are not morally enforceable.

We are a civilization in decline in large part because the Christian basis of our Declaration and Constitution have been purged from schools and our traditions.

10 posted on 07/07/2009 12:24:14 PM PDT by Jacquerie (That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men.)
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To: presidio9

Good for these doctors.

I’ve selected new doctors in the past based on their willingness to provide care that I have strong moral beliefs against... switched obstetrics providers when I found out they perform abortions (rare, but they’re willing.) If I am opposed to euthanasia, I’m going to *want* to seek out medical caregivers similarly opposed. I go to a general practitioner who doesn’t prescribe narcotics, period.

Doctors should be free to live up to the Hippocratic Oath, in which they promise to not procure abortion, or seek to hasten death!


11 posted on 07/07/2009 12:27:03 PM PDT by Missus (We're not trying to overpopulate the world, we're just trying to outnumber the idiots.)
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To: presidio9

Well, there’s always Harvard or U of Chicago...


12 posted on 07/07/2009 12:28:05 PM PDT by WKUHilltopper
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To: presidio9

bookmark


13 posted on 07/07/2009 12:30:53 PM PDT by upchuck (Psalm 109:8 ~ Let his days be few; and let another take his office.)
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To: Missus
I go to a general practitioner who doesn’t prescribe narcotics, period.

I don't drink, smoke or do drugs, but I think this is a narrow-minded view. Most of the "narcotic" painkillers abused recreationally today were developed for very specific purposes like easing the suffering of terminal cancer patients. They also have therapudic uses in other areas like burn victims and chronic pain sufferers. That being said, they are, of course, fraudulently perscribed to drug addicts. Doctots who get caught doing so should be barred from practicing medicine. But discriminating against these drugs all together employs the exact same logic as those who seek to outlaw firearms.

14 posted on 07/07/2009 12:39:16 PM PDT by presidio9 ("Don't shoot. Let 'em burn.")
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To: presidio9

I agree that narcotics have a use in some cases... but the point is, I have freedom to seek out a doctor who will prescribe them, should I have a medical condition that would be helped by them. My general practitioner is well-educated on why and when that class of drugs would be used, and has no problem consulting with or transfering care to a provider who will do so, as well.

So, I get the best of both worlds, because my doctor is free to practice within the dictates of his beliefs. I can take advantage of his education regarding non-narcotic pain therapies and relief (his treatment for persistent plantar fascitis was brilliant, and had me walking out pain free in one treatment), or, I can choose someone else.

In college, I had persistent atypical migraine. I saw neurologists and specialists and had thousands of dollars of test to verify that yes, I had bad headaches, and no, they didn’t know why. Their solution was lots and lots of experimental medication.

Not being keen on that, I talked to another doctor who didn’t like to prescribe drugs very often (and also did not agree with euthanasia or abortion or routine vaccination). She worked with me eliminate a whole lot of processed foods and chemicals from my life, I got a back adjustment and some physical therapy to correct a muscle/alignment issue, and three months later, I was back to normal and healthy, without drugs.

I know that doesn’t work for everyone, and I certainly won’t begrudge a medication for anyone who will be helped by it, even just emotionally helped.

But if the law mandates that doctors MUST provide X, Y, and Z treatments for Symptoms A, B, and C, I’m never going to hear about treatments L, M, and N, which might have been ideal solutions for me.

Liberty applies to more than just governmental models.


15 posted on 07/07/2009 1:00:16 PM PDT by Missus (We're not trying to overpopulate the world, we're just trying to outnumber the idiots.)
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To: presidio9
Would you want a brain surgeon who hated doing brain surgery to operate on your brain?

I sure as hell would not. I would find a brain surgeon who took pride in his work and was not dragged to the table against his will. But that is just me.

People who want to have immoral procedures done, are free to put up enough cash to induce someone to make their dreams come true. It is called the marketplace.

16 posted on 07/07/2009 1:01:40 PM PDT by Mark was here (The earth is bipolar.)
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To: Tanniker Smith

It may take something like this to wake the American people up to the fact that moral doctors don’t do abortions. Obama would do well to wake up to the fact that there is NO compromise on abortion. Killing a pre-born baby is killing a human being. That is immoral in anyone’s religious belief.


17 posted on 07/07/2009 1:13:23 PM PDT by Maryhere ("HE comes to rule the earth")
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To: trumandogz; Deb
It's because there was no threat to Doctor's rights not to perform abortions while Bush was President.

He set things in motion because he knew that Obama was going to force the issue and remove the conscience clause.

You can't distort this to make it look like a problem with President Bush. He's the most pro-life President we've ever had. Bar none.

18 posted on 07/07/2009 2:10:55 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: ohioWfan

Reagan.

Bar none.


19 posted on 07/07/2009 2:46:20 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: ohioWfan

But was there a federal conscience clause in effect from 2001 to 2009?


20 posted on 07/07/2009 2:52:36 PM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: presidio9

It’s going to be pretty hard to bring charges against a physician because he or she refuses to kill.

It is unlikely to happen...


21 posted on 07/07/2009 3:00:30 PM PDT by mtntop3
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To: mtntop3
"Dr. Such and Such, you violated this woman's CONSTITUTIONAL right to terminate the pregnancy by refusing to supply her with the proper medical care procedures that was requested.

Enjoy your chains, by the way, you are still responsible for the student loans that mother government granted upon you. Next!!!"

22 posted on 07/07/2009 3:14:04 PM PDT by rollo tomasi (Working hard to pay for deadbeats and corrupt politicians.)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

**who has standing to bring action against them?**

That would be us, through the court system. The court would have to tell him to stop, if he refused, then...?

Which early President asked about the “army” the SC had?


23 posted on 07/07/2009 3:18:36 PM PDT by Boiling Pots (B. Hussein Obama: The final turd George W. Bush laid on America)
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To: trumandogz
Nope. Bush 43.

More outspoken and direct about the sanctity of life.

24 posted on 07/07/2009 3:19:22 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: trumandogz
What has changed is Obama's FOCA which seeks to overturn the conscience clause already in effect. Physicians now have the right to stand for their moral principles and refuse to perform abortions. They have always had that right, and it certainly wasn't in danger during the Bush years.

Obama's goal is to remove the right to refuse to do abortions both for doctors and hospitals. That's why it became necessary for a strong pro-life President like George W. Bush to pro-actively delay the intent of Barack Obama to remove the conscience clause before he left office.

As I said before, there is no way you can distort this to be President Bush's neglect, no matter how much you'd like to do that.

He is the strongest pro-life President we have ever had. Bar none.

(And I have been part of the pro-life movement for over 30 years).

25 posted on 07/07/2009 3:25:08 PM PDT by ohioWfan (Proud Mom of a Bronze Star recipient!)
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To: presidio9

Dugg!


26 posted on 07/07/2009 6:23:59 PM PDT by Seth_Stuck
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To: presidio9

That’s it Obama America already has a severe shortage of OB?GYNs so let’s make it worse by making a bunch of them leave their practise.


27 posted on 07/07/2009 7:30:28 PM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: presidio9; hocndoc; Coleus; narses
President Obama has been eager to find a middle ground in the touchy abortion debate.

Now that's a howler!

28 posted on 07/07/2009 7:35:53 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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