Existing federal law does forbid discrimination against those health care professionals who refuse to go against their morals or beliefs, but the Bush administration found many healthcare systems in practice who don't adhere to the ruling or seem to be aware of the law. The 2008 regulation adds another layer of protection to prevent federal funds from flowing to institutions who violate the federal law.
Senator Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma is an OB/GYN in addition to representing his state in Congress. He has come out sharply against President Obama's decision to rescind this regulation by insisting that he will join tens of thousands of other medical professionals who would rather go to jail than be forced to do an abortion. If the many medical systems who refused to honor the federal law before President Bush's regulation, go back to business as usual then this may become a possiblility for our doctors, nurses and other pro-life health care professionals.
One of President Obama's first acts in office was to repeal the Executive Order prohibiting federal funds to flow to organizations providing overseas abortions, and now he is weakening protections for consciencous objectors to abortion and sterilization within the medical profession. This month, he announced his pick for Health and Human Services Director, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D).
Gov. Sebelius is a pro-abortion "Catholic" who has vetoed late term abortion bans, fought against parental notification laws, and protected late term abortion provider and advocate Dr. George Tiller from prosecution. The media is attempting to distort and distract the opposition to Gov. Sebelius with reports of Catholics supporting her appointment. These groups, such as Catholics United, are pro-abortion organizations, that hold themselves out as Catholic organizations, and have been denounced by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as not representing the Church or the faith. Many Republican Senators, pro-life organizations, faith groups and Catholic organizations have come out against her nomination, but will be unable to stop her impending confirmation later this month.
Next to come, Obama's administration has announced his intention to repeal President Bush's ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, which would allow taxpayer funded destruction of life, and the omnibus bill pending before the Congress reduces abstinence education funding in favor of family planning. Most importantly, don't forget the fight against the Freedom of Choice Act is coming. The FOCA bill will wipe out any and all restrictions on abortions in both federal and state law. That means: no more parental notifications, designated waiting periods, consciencous objectors in healthcare, and the ban on taxpayer funded abortions and partial birth abortions would be lifted. This is a horrendous bill that then-candidate Obama in 2008 promised to sign. Please take the time to read more about this bill at FightFOCA.
Not only has President Obama taken overt steps to reduce the protections for the unborn, he has stacked his administration with pro-abortion advocates. See LifeNews for a list of nominations thus far. For example, David Ogden, his pick for Deputy Attorney General, in a brief before the US Supreme Court, dismissed the allegedly negative experiences some women may face after abortion and argued that childbirth and adoption my provide more adverse psychological effects to the woman than an abortion.
Another appointment, a pick for Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legal Counsel, is a former NARAL attorney, Dawn Johnson. Ms. Johnson argued in a 1989 brief before the Supreme Court that restrictions on abortion, forcing a woman to carry a fetus to term, was forced slavery as prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution. Andrew C. McCarthy at National Review Online has two great pieces written on Ms. Johnson and her radical views. You can read the first one here and the report on her confirmation hearing here. This is the woman the President has chosen to be the administration's lawyer's lawyer. An important agency, the OLC authoritatively interprets the law for the Attorney General and drives administrative legal policy.
Under the leadership of Obama and his administration we can expect many other changes that will bring our country closer to the culture of death that Pope Benedict XVI counsels us against. Its not too late to join the 40 Days for Life campaign or to make your voice heard as this Administration finishes its second month in office, go to Stop The Abortion Bailout sponsored by the Susan B. Anthony List.