Washington D.C., Feb 18, 2011 / 18:23 pm
President Obama's Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, issued new regulations on Feb. 17, canceling out numerous conscience protections for health care workers who have moral or religious objections to certain procedures.
The new rules claim to leave in place the protections for health care providers who oppose abortion and sterilization. However, they remove many other protections for caregivers, including those who are morally opposed to providing services such as in vitro fertilization, contraception – including chemical contraceptives that can cause an abortion – and facilitating sexual practices they consider wrong.
In her report describing the changes, Sebelius criticizes the Bush-era regulations, which clarified the rights of many conscientious objectors to opt of procedures, as “unclear and potentially overly broad in scope.”
Sebelius acknowledged in the final report that “a substantial number of comments in opposition to rescinding the 2008 Final Rule maintained that Roman Catholic hospitals would have to close, that rescission of the rule would limit access to pro-life counseling, and that providers would either leave the health care industry or choose not to enter it.”