Obama’s administration recently announced that it plans to rescind the “conscience rule,” a federal policy implemented under Bush that offers job protection to health care providers who choose not to participate in “care” that they find religiously or morally objectionable, i.e. abortion counseling and other family planning services. This is on the heels of Obama’s reversal of the Mexico City Policy, which effectively makes it legal for U.S. taxpayer dollars to fund abortions in other countries.
From the Washington Post:
The debate centers on a Bush administration regulation, enacted in December, that cuts off federal funding for thousands of state and local governments, hospitals, health plans, clinics and other entities if they do not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refuse to participate in care they feel violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
The rule was sought by conservative groups that argued that workers were increasingly being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways for trying to exercise their “right of conscience.”
It is interesting that Obama inferred during his campaign that although he is pro-choice, he wants to reduce the number of abortions performed…and that he wants to find “common ground” with pro-lifers on the issue. I agree with Professor Robert George, who says that it is “delusional” to think that “despite [Obama’s] pro-abortion extremism, [he] is effectively pro-life because…his allegedly enlightened economic and social policies will reduce the number of abortions.” Joel Hunter, a pastor whom Obama has named to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships says, “This is going to be a political hit for the administration. This will be one of those things that kind of says, ‘I knew it. They talk about common ground, but really what they want is their own way.’
Supposedly, the proposal will be subject to 30 days of public comment, which administration officials say could result in a compromise. They say “they remain committed to seeking a middle ground but acknowledged that will not always be possible.”
I wonder if “30 days” will be measured by Obama’s funny time table, or 30 actual 24-hour days. See, on the campaign trail and on his website, Obama promised “not to sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House Web site for five days,” an aspect of his pledge for more transparency referred to as “Sunlight Before Signing.” As it turns out though, the very first two bills the president signed directly broke this promise. As Pro Publica points out, the first bill (the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act) “wasn’t posted online until after Obama signed it,” and the second bill (SCHIP) had been posted for only three days before it was signed.
See more on the rescinding of the conscience rule at Hot Air.