Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Right to Refuse" Regulation Re-do

As I perused the Columbus Dispatch this morning I came across an article indicating that President Obama's administration will be publishing a notice of its intentions to repeal the "right to refuse" regulation promulgated by Secy Leavitt in the waning days of the Bush Administration. That will open a 30-day comment period for advocates on both sides, and both medical personnel and the public to speak out for and against repeal of the regulation.

I figured we'd have to wait until they finally nominated and confirmed a new Secretary of Health & Human Services, but it looks like they're moving ahead without waiting. I'm looking forward to submitting comments calling for the repeal of this onerous regulation that demoted women to second-class citizen status. This regulation goes far beyond the issue of abortion in restricting available reproductive health services. As it stands now you can only obtain those services your health provider is willing to provide based on his/her religious beliefs. And that same physician no longer is required to provide you with a referral to another doctor who might provide the services you're seeking. That's just not right and it adversely affects women in rural areas of the country worse than those in urban areas ... but it adversely impacts us all on the basis of someone else's religious beliefs, making our beliefs subordinate and inconsequential to theirs.

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