We only have six days to act. We only have six days to scream. We only have six more days to demand that the Bush administration revisit the “conscience” rule recently submitted by HHS Secretary Leavitt.
This is going to be a long post because I want to give you all the background. From Planned Parenthood, here’s what’s going on:
On August 22, 2008, the Bush administration proposed a regulation to allow providers to withhold critical health care information.
The proposed regulation jeopardizes a patient’s right to know her options. This rule would completely disrupt the nation’s health care delivery system at a time when more and more families are uninsured and under economic assault. Here’s why:
- The HHS proposed regulation is intentionally vague. By leaving the term “abortion” undefined, the regulation creates a dangerous space for ideology and political views to be inserted into medical practices, emergency rooms, and clinics all across the country, and when that happens, women suffer.
- The proposed regulation complicates the law instead of clarifying the law. The new regulation lets health care providers define abortion, which could threaten broader reproductive health care, including contraception.
- The fact that HHS took out the definition of abortion that was included in an earlier draft is a red herring because this proposed regulation — even more than the previous leaked version — leaves health care services and information open to personal interpretation and political agendas.
- This rule will allow anti-choice extremists to receive federal funds for so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” — anti-choice facilities whose purpose is to deceive and dissuade women from accessing birth control and abortion information and services.
Senators, including Obama, and members of the House sent letters to the Administration opposing the new rule. 56 organizations (ACLU, Feminist Majority, NARAL Pro Choice America, NOW, The United Methodist Church, YWCA, etc.) joined Planned Parenthood in sending a letter of opposition to Secretary Leavitt.
The public has 30 days to comment on the rule before it goes into effect. I strongly urge you to take this opportunity to do so. Planned Parenthood has made it easy. Go to their Action Center and add your voice today.