Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Bush's pushes through last-minute anti-abortion plan

A friend pointed this out to me today:

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.

But three officials from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, including its legal counsel, whom President Bush appointed, said the proposal would overturn 40 years of civil rights law prohibiting job discrimination based on religion.

There are so many things wrong with this, as is common with orders coming out of the Oval Office in these Bush years. Often things like this go unnoticed; there really isn't much in the media on this abortion ruling.

Religion should not get in the way of healthcare, and of the patient's personal choice. In addition, last time I checked the government's role didn't include endorsing job discrimination. In effect the administration is trying to withhold funds from health institutions who don't let their employees' views on abortion get in the way of them doing their jobs. Another step backwards for a woman's right over her body fueled by the Catholic church and an ultra-conservative executive.

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