So, I suppose we can start to put together the list of things that the Bush Administration is going to try to pull before they leave office, one of the most nefarious being the “right of conscience” rule.
via LA Times.
Reporting from Washington — The outgoing Bush administration is planning to announce a broad new “right of conscience” rule permitting medical facilities, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other healthcare workers to refuse to participate in any procedure they find morally objectionable, including abortion and possibly even artificial insemination and birth control.
For more than 30 years, federal law has dictated that doctors and nurses may refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further by making clear that healthcare workers also may refuse to provide information or advice to patients who might want an abortion.
So, essentially, even if you have the right to obtain an abortion, you may not have access to the information necessary to actually know all your options. I would never deny how smart a doctor is, but I don’t really think it is up to a doctor to decide what is morally right for me or for my body. If the law has already decided that I can have access to reproductive technology, then why is a doctor allowed to tell me something different? I would like the advice I get from my doctor to be based on my health needs, not their religious and moral beliefs. I am sorry that is crazy.
According to Raw Story this change could hurt rural and poor women the hardest. Melissa Harris-Lacewell in conversation with Maddow over the subject discusses.
Harris-Lacewell explained that regulations like this “right of conscience” rule have “been the new strategy of those who have been opposed to women’s reproductive rights. … Rather than fight this out in the courts … what you do is limit access. You limit the education that doctors are getting in medical school. You limit the ability of these doctors to practice in various states and localities. You just keep reducing, reducing, reducing.”
“That has a disproportionate effect on poor women, on rural women,” Harris-Lacewell stated. “Women who have private health insurance, women who have private physicians, tend to have plenty of access to a variety of reproductive rights options. Poor women and women with less access are the ones hit hardest.”