So, we're currently in the midst of a 30-day comment period for a new DHHS "rule [which] empowers federal health officials to pull funding from more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans, doctors' offices and other entities if they do not accommodate employees who refuse to participate in care they find objectionable on personal, moral or religious grounds," which is to say, abortion.
Except that the bill is also worded so broadly/ambiguously as to "protect pharmacists, doctors, nurses and others from providing birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraception and other forms of contraception, and explicitly allows workers to withhold information about such services and refuse to refer patients elsewhere."
(So, basically, doctors who object to abortion, or to birth control, would be, I guess, "protected" not only from providing this care but also from even referring women to other doctors who would provide them with the kind of medical care they're seeking.)
Aside from the dubious premise — that is, using government money to compel private healthcare providers to respect the right of their own employees to not provide healthcare — there is also the sadly old-news matter of the anti-abortion movement trying to crowd out basic family planning necessities. You'd think, given that contraception and family planning and sex ed are the most effective methods of preventing unwanted pregnancy — and thus abortions — that anti-abortion activists would be more in favor of all that than pro-choicers are. Which leads us yet again to the conclusion that the anti-abortion movement cares less about dead babies than sexual morality.
So anyway. Go to PlannedParenthood.org right now and give them all your money, or some of it, as they work on mounting a challenge to the ruling (and also continue with their work of doing more for women's reproductive health than any other organization in America).
27 August 2008
From the L Blog: U.S. Outta My Pants
Via The L Blog: