Tag Archives: right of conscience

Repealing "right of conscience" excuses

Now that the Obama administration is about to repeal the "right of conscience" rule, which was a thinly veiled last-minute attempt by the Bush administration to withhold healthcare in abortion and birth control and so broadly worded so as to sidestep controversy over reproductive healthcare (not that it worked), I hope they don't get cold feet. Certain religious groups are now trying to convince the Obama administration not to repeal the rule.

If the rule doesn't get repealed, I fear we will see ridiculous cases like a doctor letting a woman in his care die for lack of CPR because "it's against his religious beliefs to touch women". This might be an extreme example, but it's not as if similar things are not already happening. And a broad right of conscience rule for healthcare means that there would be no consequences for withholding healthcare when it should be reasonably expected, even in life-threatening situations.