I think by now we’re all intimately familiar with the assault on women’s right to choose. In the midst of all this, however, Obama has rescinded Bush’s conscience rules.
According to Ms. Magazine’s Feminist Wire Daily:
On Friday, the Obama administration rescinded the “conscience” rules, first instituted under the Bush administration, that granted protections to medical providers who refused to provide abortions, sterilization, in-vitro fertilization, and other medical procedures, such as care to AIDS patients, due to moral objections.
Under the “conscience” rules, hospitals could refuse to provide emergency contraception to rape victims and pharmacists could refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control pills. In addition, the Bush administration rules stated that hospitals, clinics, and health plans that refused to honor workers’ “right of conscience” could face a loss of federal funding.
The revised law, which will go into effect in 30 days, will continue to allow doctors and nurses to refuse to provide abortions on religious or moral grounds.
So a small win, but a win nonetheless. Is this indicative of more pro-choice support to come from Obama? Should HR3, HR358 and Pence’s bill make their way through the Senate and land on Obama’s desk, would he veto them?
Of course, I would like to adamantly say YES! But history has shown that women’s rights are among the first to be compromised away for the “larger good” of other issues. Hostile amendments, anyone?
Only time will tell. But that doesn’t mean we should sit around twiddling our thumbs. Pick up the phone, bang out an email or two to your Senators and make sure these bills don’t get as far as Obama.
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