Breaking: Obama to rescind HHS regulation

Hallelujah. Remember Bush’s parting gift, the last minute HHS rule that not only allows health care providers to define contraception as abortion, but allows them to deny health care based on their moral or religious reasons? Well, folks are saying that President Obama plans to move to repeal the regulation today. Via AP:

The Obama administration is moving to rescind a federal rule that reinforced protections for medical providers who refuse to perform abortions or other procedures on moral grounds, an official said Friday.
A Health and Human Services official said the administration will publish notice of its intentions early next week, and open a 30-day comment period for advocates, medical groups and the public. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official notice has not been completed.
The Bush administration instituted the rule in its last days, and it was quickly challenged in federal court by several states and medical organizations. As a candidate, President Barack Obama criticized the regulation and campaign aides promised that if elected, he would review it.

Looks like we’ll have another 30-day comment period to take action despite the fact that over 200,000 people submitted their opposition to the regulation originally, so we’ll keep you posted on where to send your comments. In the meantime, I’m keeping confidence that Obama will put this shit to bed already. Thank him in advance.

Join the Conversation

  • feminismforever

    I just wanted to point out that they’re legally required to have another notice and comment period in order to change or rescind the regulation.

  • Robert Johnston

    It may not be surprising, but this is still very good news. Right wing attempts to use religion as a sword to attack standards of basic ethics and professional responsibility are very disturbing and need to be turned aside. If you don’t want to be part of a profession that distributes birth control, don’t be a pharmacist or an OB/GYN.
    Religious beliefs simply can’t be allowed to excuse professional irresponsibility. This Bush regulation is no different than a “conscience clause” that would require all public and private schools to allow math teachers to preach about Jesus in the classroom. Accommodation of religious belief is one thing, but rewriting professional duties and responsibilities to excuse the imposition of religious belief upon others is another entirely and is never acceptable.

  • Nancy Northup, Center for Reproductive Rights

    The Center for Reproductive Rights commends President Obama for beginning the process to repeal this harmful regulation. Any time, any worker at a healthcare facility can prevent a woman seeking reproductive services from getting care, information and even, a referral—and the government sanctions such conduct—it’s time for a regulatory ‘do-over’. The Bush administration claimed that this policy protects healthcare providers against discrimination, but in truth, it leaves patients unprotected and seriously violates their rights and medical needs.

  • Hershele Ostropoler

    I was skeptical he was going to do this before, because the statement he released during the transition period (or possibly last week in January) left a lot of room for inaction. I’m glad to see my skepticism was unfounded.

  • Aileen Wuornos

    Well, America’s finally taken another step back towards the twenty-first century. This is good news.

  • aleks

    It amazes me that silly Obamabot Kool Aid drinkers can be impressed by token gestures like regulations, when on the really important stuff like the pastor chosen to give the invocation prayer at the inauguration he picked Rick Warren.

  • MzBitca

    aleks,
    I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic, but if you’re not
    1. we can be critical of some move and excited about others
    2. Obama could have a good record on reproductive rights which we can celebrate while still protesting against his stance on GLBT rights
    3. I would argue that in the long run, it’s the regulations he passes that have long lasting effects on people’s lives that matter more than ill conceived symbolic gestures
    I am not saying 3 to take away from the pain and anger many felt about Rick Warren, it was a horrible, possibly telling, possibly idiotic decision and I’m not saying we should ignore it. But to say getting excited about regulations that actually effect women’s lives every is a token gesture says you don’t think very much about women’s reproductive rights

  • aleks

    Within the boundaries of electability (that means not having President McCain or President Palin issuing regulations and appointing judges), what exactly would you like his stance on GLBT rights to be?
    I do regret the subtlety of my earlier comment. It was not intentional.

  • George Levingman

    And still, the US president Barack Obama does not allow to watch TV to the small daughters during educational week. The head of the White house has declared it in the interview of broadcasting company CBS dated by the American Day of the father.