WASHINGTON — Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration Friday will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows health-care workers to deny abortion counseling or other family-planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.
The rollback of the "conscience rule" comes just two months after the Bush administration announced it last year in one of its final policy initiatives.
As is becoming increasingly clear, Mr. Obama will decide for you which of your convictions you are allowed to act upon:
Officials said the administration will consider drafting a new rule to clarify what health-care workers can reasonably refuse for patients.
Lest we are led to believe that freedom of conscience in this arena was only a passing two-month Bush-ism, take note...
For more than 30 years, federal law has allowed doctors and nurses to decline to provide abortion services as a matter of conscience, a protection that is not subject to rulemaking.
In promulgating the new rule last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said it was necessary to address discrimination in the medical field.
He criticized "an environment in the health-care field that is intolerant of individual conscience, certain religious beliefs, ethnic and cultural traditions and moral convictions."
Officials said the Obama administration's goal is to make the rule clearer.
Gee, thanks, Mr. President. Our country is going to be so much better because of your concern for clarity.
Obama administration may rescind 'conscience rule'