Loading
U.S. bishops praise proposed conscience protections for pro-life medical workers
U.S. bishops praise proposed conscience protections for pro-life medical workers

.- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaking in public comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has praised proposed regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care professionals and institutions. Charging that some organizations are showing “undisguised hostility” to the rights of conscience, the USCCB encouraged the government to proceed with the proposals.

The regulations are based on existing federal statutes, some of which were enacted decades ago.

“We strongly commend the Secretary for publishing these proposed regulations,” the USCCB wrote. “For over three decades… Congress has sought to ensure that health care institutions and professionals will not have to choose between abandoning medicine and violating their conscience.”

The bishops’ conference said such regulations were especially needed in light of state and local government pressure on health care professionals and institutions to perform abortions, as well as “growing hostility on the part of some professional organizations and advocacy groups to rights of conscience in health care.”

The USCCB’s September 12 letter cited several such incidents of advocate groups’ pressure, characterizing them as showing “undisguised hostility to conscience rights.”

According to the USCCB letter, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, in a November 2007 opinion, asserted that it is unethical for obstetricians and gynecologists to decline to provide or refer patients for abortion or sterilization. In addition, the American Civil Liberties Union has developed a bill that would require all hospitals to perform abortions, arguing the law “should not permit an institution’s religious strictures to interfere with the public’s access to reproductive health care.”

The group Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health claims that the right of a patient to “timely and comprehensive reproductive healthcare” must “always prevail” over a health care provider’s rights of conscience, while NARAL Pro-Choice America claims such conscience protections are “dangerous for women’s health.”

Citing the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, the USCCB letter said that unjust laws pose “dramatic problems of conscience for morally upright people” and that when they are required to cooperate in morally evil acts they must refuse.

Such a moral duty, the pontifical council asserted, is a “basic civil right” that civil law is obligated to protect and recognize.

Asking the HHS to make conscience protection regulations as robust as possible, the USCCB suggested that the definition of abortion include “any drug, procedure, or other act that the objector reasonably believes may take the life of a human being in utero at any time between conception (fertilization) and natural birth.”

The bishops’ letter also suggested several technical changes to the proposal.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: