“Conscience clause” is unconscienable.

The Secular Coalition of America is reporting on yet more religiously-motivated bullshit being introduced by Bush that will undermine a government founded on secular principles, and undermine the rights of citizens seeking medical care – especially women.

President Bush and Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt have colluded to allow medical professionals—from ambulance drivers to pharmacists—to refuse to provide care for people who seek services they find religiously objectionable.

Already, a “conscience clause” exists in federal law that allows a medical professional to opt out of performing a procedure or delivering a product if it violates his/her “conscience.”  But now, the “conscience clause” is taken a step further and jeopardizes any woman’s ability to get complete and accurate information and services.

For example, the expanded definition of the conscience clause means that a health care center employee opposed to the provision of birth control who was hired to schedule patient appointments could refuse to schedule patients seeking those services.

Medical professionals (whether they are doctors, pharmacists, technicians, or emergency medical technicians) are employed in the field of medicine, not spirituality. They have the right to consider their own religious beliefs in determining what medical decisions they make for their own care, but their personal religion should never infringe on the right of a patient to seek products or procedures that they have a legal right to obtain.

The new regulations proposed by the Bush administration deliberately confuse the definitions of contraception and abortion, which also make it more difficult for women to obtain birth control. The new regulations change the definition of “abortion” from the standard definition offered by the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to one that is scientifically inaccurate and not endorsed by any leading medical associations or institutions.

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