CMA Issues Press Release on HHS Gutting of Conscience Protection Rule
February 18, 2011
STATEMENT ON HHS GUTTING OF CONSCIENCE PROTECTION RULE FOR HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS
Today, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its decision regarding the Bush administration’s Conscience Protection Rule – “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law.” In response, the Catholic Medical Association issued the following statement:
While the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) is disappointed that HHS gutted entire sections of the Conscience Protection Rule in effect since January 2009, the CMA is grateful that HHS did not rescind the Rule as Obama administration officials had promised, and we welcome HHS’s recognition that refusing to participate in abortion is an important civil right.
Still, HHS’s promises to review complaints submitted to the Office of Civil Rights and to provide education on respect for conscience rights ring hollow in light of their decision to cut out the very definitions and tools to achieve these ends contained in the original Rule.
Since the action of HHS does not provide the strong and clear protection that health care providers need, the CMA calls upon Congress and all people of good will to work to provide meaningful protections of this most fundamental human and civil right.
The CMA will be issuing additional statements on the HHS Final Rule following further legal analysis.
Founded in 1932, the Catholic Medical Association is the largest association of Catholic physicians in North America. For more information, go to http://www.cathmed.org.
CONTACT: John Brehany, Ph.D., S.T.L. Executive Director & Ethicist