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It appears that the Bush Administration is wrapping up a "right of conscience" law that would allow medical professionals to refuse participation in any treatment they might find morally objectionable, including but not limited to abortion.

Of course, this regulation would permit pharmacists to refuse to sell birth control.

And this regulation, which will be enacted 30 days after it's published, can not be immediately repealed by the incoming president.

It may not end there, however.

The Supreme Court refused to hear a case a year ago on whether or not religious-affiliated employers would have to provide for birth control as part of their medical coverage to their female employees. The employers wanted such a reversal of statewide law that exists in most states. With Bush's regulation, those employers would potentially be able to avoid the state law.

Depressing, indeed, but as The Wall Street Journal reports, the incoming Obama Administration will be reversing this as soon as possible.

Advocates on both sides of the issue have interpreted the rule as also protecting workers who refuse to participate in providing birth control or other care they don't support. The rule could be blocked by Congress, or Health and Human Services could begin the laborious process of issuing a new regulation reversing course. Officials close to the transition have signaled that they intend to begin the regulatory process anew.

Originally posted to The Wife of Bath on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:03 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Can someone explain (9+ / 0-)

    to me how it is that the Bush administration seems to be able to do whatever the hell it wants, yet every time I read one of these diaries, it always says that to reverse it would take years and will be extraordinarily difficult.  If Bush can push through these changes effortlessly and in very little time, why can't Obama also make changes through the same process?  There always seems to be an underlying assumption to these diaries that Bush can do whatever he wants, but Obama will have his hands tied no matter what and will not be able to do a single thing about these last minute f-you's from the Bush administration.    

  •  It takes a while to reverse because... (10+ / 0-)

    ...of the nature of repealing such regulations. And Bush & Co. know it.

    What's pitiful is that the Bushies didn't have the balls to placate the evangelical base this way while they were not on the cusp of losing power. Indeed, such things wouldn't pass.

    But as they leave office, they can stoke the social "war" while simultaneously attempting to intertwine law with faith.

    And OBAMA was the scary one?!

  •  Interesting Slate piece (7+ / 0-)

    comparing & contrasting the Right's defending people conscience when they protest these procedures. But SD requires care providers to read a script which provides misinformation. The right seems unconcerned with health care worker's consciences when they are asked to lie to their patients.
    Read it here.

    "My friends, today, we are all Iraqi journalists!"--Clarknt67, 12/14/08

    by Scott Wooledge on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:33:52 AM PST

  •  These practices have already begun (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wbr, The Wife of Bath, Lujane

    Go to the Naral website.

    I would make a proposition to the Republicans. If you will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about you. Adlai Stevenson

    by desnyder on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:47:33 AM PST

  •  I want a giant list compiled (9+ / 0-)

    of all Doctors, Nurses, and Pharmacists who refuse to provide reproductive health care for women because they are the Christian Taliban.  I wish some organization would put forth an effort to compile it for every state so people can boycott those pharmacies and offices.  If the drugstore down the street has even one woman-hating nut in the pharmacy, I won't buy my damn shampoo there.  I won't even buy a soda or breath mints there.  It would be a cold day in hell before I would darken the door of such an establishment, if only I knew which ones.

    Hit them in the $$$$$$.

    Fox news: Even better than meth!

    by get the red out on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 05:55:23 AM PST

    •  Bravo! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      celdd, annrose, wbr, get the red out

      And I too would like such a list published... preferably right here on Kos. The only way to combat this kind of mania is to hit them where it hurts most.

      Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

      by Pariah Dog on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 06:50:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not very effective given (0+ / 0-)

      the long waiting list to see doctors.  But lots of luck.  You seem not to understand that no one in this world has an obligation to provide you with any particular service.  No lawyer has to represent you, no doctor has to treat you, no plumber has to fix your drainpipe, and no gardner has to cut your lawn.  They may choose to do so if you and them agree on contractual terms.  But they are under no obligation to you or anyone else.

      •  And he is under no obligation to shop (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdl ithaca, julifolo, get the red out

        in their drug store. But doctors and pharmacists are obligated to provide a certain standard of care, or lose their licenses.

        We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

        by dconrad on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:15:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Standard of care (0+ / 0-)

          is applicable only when you treat a patient, not when you decline to do so.  They are under no obligation to treat anyone.

          •  Pharmacists don't have "patients" (0+ / 0-)

            There should be a standard for the service they provide to customers, and if they don't like it, they should find another line of work.

            We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

            by dconrad on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 02:50:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  So I owe them my business (0+ / 0-)

        or what?

        And these turds take an oath to treat people.  They also have to have a license to practice.

        I have a rather good understanding that the Republicans would deny health care and reproductive rights to people when and where they can get by with it.  I understand that there is zero difference now between the religious right and the Republican Party (now the Palinites).  

        I understand that given a choice, I can choose where to shop.  We haven't gone so far in this country that I can be forcefully "re-educated" for chosing one drug store over another.

        Fox news: Even better than meth!

        by get the red out on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:10:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No you do not owe them your business (0+ / 0-)

          Feel free to choose anyone else.  Of course, that may cause you to wait in line much longer.  But certainly, it is your choice.

          As to "license" so does a plumber or a gardner or a lawyer.  None of them are obligated to provide any specific service.  Hell, I have a driver's license.  That does not mean that I am required to drive anyone anywhere they wish or anywhere the government directs me to.

    •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

      ...I'd urge you to get some of the recent books on the history of the futility of the boycott.

      "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

      by Mister Gloom on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 08:35:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And give me one good reason (0+ / 0-)

        why I, or anyone else, should shop at a store like that if we don't have to?  I actually give a damn about where my little bit of money goes, when I can.  Should I start buying all my food at Walmart and cancel my membership at my food co-op?  Should all the farmer's markets close down so there are no opportunities to purchase local food?  Should I make sure to shop only at big box retailers because the little guys won't be around very long anyway?

        Because some Borg somewhere wrote a book titled "Resistence is Futile"?

        It is called having a conscious and attempting to put my money where my big mouth is when I can.  I would just like another tool to assist me in doing that!

        I will resist these religious fanatic bastards where and when I can, and I don't need to read any fucking books that tell me to sit down and shut up and play along nice with the Christian Taliban.

        Fox news: Even better than meth!

        by get the red out on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:05:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I was thinking of a Psycho professor I was thinking of who wrote a book on boycotts that I actually think a great deal.  And having known the man personally (albeit this was a long time ago) I would say he's the exact opposite of a Borg.  And you can shop anywhere you want, just don't go thinking calls for a boycott are going to change anything.

          "An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot." - Thomas Paine

          by Mister Gloom on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 10:18:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  You might want to change the title (4+ / 0-)

    A doctor or nurse would never have to perform an abortion unwillingly, except in truly exceptional circumstances. The bigger concern is that the regulation applies to birth control.

  •  could somebody reassure me... (0+ / 0-)

    that my husband is right when he blows his top about all these @#$??% regulations...  

    he says the courts overthrow them all the time (the clearly unconstitutional ones), the administration can pass laws but shouldn't be having any power over the regulations, and so on, so we shouldn't worry about this stuff (so much) because they keep getting overturned before they can be implemented...

    I suppose the theocons would continue to try to do their thing even if they knew their "regulations" weren't going to hold up in court, and could do a lot of damage while the courts were working, and then officials getting the word about the nullification, etc etc...

    anybody?  thanks

    'We ain't what we ought to be and we ain't what we want to be and we ain't what we're going to be. But thank God, we ain't what we was.'

    by chimene on Wed Dec 17, 2008 at 09:13:28 AM PST

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