Borrowed from Rosefox; I sense she won't mind.
This regulation does not limit patient access to health care, but rather protects any
individual health care provider or institution from being compelled to participate in, or from
being punished for refusal to participate in, a service that, for example, violates their conscience.
…When applying the term “assist in the performance” to members of an
entity’s workforce, the Department proposes to include participation in any activity with a
reasonable connection to the objectionable procedure, including referrals, training, and other
arrangements for offending procedures. For example, an operating room nurse would assist in
the performance of surgical procedures; an employee whose task it is to clean the instruments
used in a particular procedure would be considered to assist in the performance of the particular
…The proposed regulation requires that entities certify in writing that they will operate in
compliance with the Church Amendments, PHS Act §245, and the Weldon Amendment as
applicable. Certification provides a demonstrable way of ensuring that the recipients of such
funding know of, and attest that they will comply with, the applicable nondiscrimination
…The purpose of this Part is to provide for the implementation and enforcement of the
Church Amendments, 42 USC 300a-7, section 245 of the Public Health Service Act, 42 USC
238n, and the Weldon Amendment, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-
161, Div. G, § 508(d), 121 Stat. 1844, 2209. These statutory provisions protect the rights of
health care entities/entities, both individuals and institutions, to refuse to perform health care
services to which they may object for religious, moral, ethical, or other reasons. Consistent with
this objective to protect the conscience rights of health care entities/entities, the provisions in the
Church Amendments, section 245 of the Public Health Service Act and the Weldon Amendment,
and the implementing regulations contained in this Part are to be interpreted and implemented
broadly to effectuate their protective purposes.
Emphasis Rose's, and mine.
Here's the news story. In essence, the Bush administration "proposed stronger job protections for doctors and other health care
workers who refuse to participate in abortions because of religious or
moral objections." However you may feel about abortions, bear in mind that this language is so vague that it could be stretched to include almost any kind of health care service imaginable, with birth control only the tip of the iceberg.
I'm not generally someone who posts stuff that requires much action, but anyone who feels any of the below are true:
"Church" should never appear in governmental legislation
"Church" or "religion" should never be allowed to dictate governmental policy
3) We have an outgoing president who was ineffectual, a bad leader, and driven not by the will of the people but the will of a small evangelical minority who never cared about established judicial rule and sure as heck doesn't now
4) That someone who does have religious objections to their job needs to find a new job
Needs to take some action. Here's what you do: Go to this page and click on the links. They provide some easy access to NARAL and other groups who are fighting this. But bear in mind — the rule goes into effect in 30 days. This is not pending. This is going to happen unless, in 30 days, a protest manages to get it changed.
Seriously. Act now. I have.
UPDATE: Rose has informed me that "Church" is the surname of someone who proposed it. There still is a religious element, of course, but … big DUH from me.