21 February 2011

Credit Ain't Due Here…

The Obama administration has finally repealed the Bush Administration's "Conscience Rule," which allowed healthcare providers to refuse to provide service on moral grounds:
The decision guts one of President George W. Bush's most controversial legacies: a rule that was widely interpreted as shielding workers who refuse to participate in a range of medical services, such as providing birth control pills, caring for gay men with AIDS and performing in-vitro fertilization for lesbians or single women.

Friday's move was seen as an important step in countering that trend, which in recent years had led pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for the emergency contraceptive Plan B, doctors in California to reject a lesbian's request for infertility treatment, and an ambulance driver in Chicago to turn away a woman who needed transportation for an abortion.
Bush implemented this toward the end of his term, and it took Obama 2 years to repeal it?

Well, it appears that they wanted to split the difference yet again:
Soon after Obama assumed office, administration officials said they agreed the regulation was too broad and announced plans to rescind it. But officials indicated that instead of simply invalidating the rule, they would seek to replace it with a compromise. The announcement triggered more than 300,000 comments, which officials have spent months reviewing. The Federal Register notice announcing the decision cites concerns raised by both sides in the comments but concludes that most of the provisions were unnecessary and potentially problematic.

The rule will retain a provision that empowers the HHS Office of Civil Rights to investigate any complaints by workers who believe their rights under existing federal law were being violated. The office is currently investigating a complaint from a nurse who claims she was forced to perform an abortion in New York.
I think that crap like this comes from the top, and I think that Barack Obama is personally opposed to a woman's right to choose, but finds the politics unavoidable, so feet are dragged, until the absolute minimum is begrudgingly done.

Very weak tea, and the absolute minimum that Obama could do without engendering a backlash from the base.


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