President Voices Support for 'Conscience Clauses' Ahead of Plans to Scale Back Bush-Era Policies
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
President Barack Obama said today that he still favors a "robust" federal policy protecting health-care workers who have moral objections to performing some procedures, even though he plans to roll back a Bush administration rule that expanded such protection.
Speaking to eight religion reporters at the White House before his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI on July 10, Obama sought to reassure Catholic health-care workers that they would not be forced to perform abortions. Obama said he is a "believer in conscience clauses" and that a new policy would "certainly not be weaker" than what existed before Bush expanded it late in his administration.
Shortly after taking office, Obama announced plans to roll back the Bush policy, which would have cut off federal funding for thousands of state and local governments, hospitals, health plans, clinics and other entities if they do not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refuse to participate in care they feel violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
But Obama's plans have lead to fears among Catholic doctors and other health care providers that they would be forced to perform abortions, sterilizations and other procedures that violate Catholic teachings, despite federal laws protecting their right to refuse to perform such procedures.
Web Politics Editor
July 2, 2009; 2:59 PM ET
Categories: Culture Wars
Save & Share: Previous: Sharp Words from Republicans as Unemployment Edges Up
Next: Obama Optimistic on Economy Despite 'Sobering' Job Losses
Posted by: PaulBradford | July 2, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: newagent99 | July 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.