Raising Women’s Voices

HSS Regulations: The Latest

Posted in Health Reform Policy Proposals by raisingwomensvoices on August 25, 2008

The Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new set of regulations that could make it easier for health providers to refuse to give women the health care services and information we need. The Wall Street Journal covers the story:

The Bush administration has proposed stronger protections for health-care workers who refuse to participate in abortions, issuing a sweeping regulation that could also undercut access to birth-control pills and other forms of contraception.

The new rules, which could take effect after a 30-day comment period, threaten state governments with a cutoff in federal funding if they force medical personnel to perform, assist in or refer patients to abortion services.

For the full story see The Wall Street Journal Online.

In July, a draft of these regulations, which would potentially allow contraception to be defined as abortion, was leaked to the media. The formal release of the regulations last Thursday reflects some changes to that draft. Washington Post Coverage says:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Health officials released a controversial regulation on Thursday to protect health professionals who do not want to provide abortions or certain other health care services.

The regulation could strip federal funding from employers or institutions that fire a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other health professional who refuses to provide abortion care or information.

But it no longer defines some types of contraception as abortion, after family planning groups complained an earlier draft would have defined abortion to include birth control pills and the intrauterine device or IUD.

For the full article, see the Washington Post Online.

And for additional news and commentary, please see RH Reality Check’s ongoing coverage.

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