AUL Calls for Strong Conscience Clause Protection for Medical Professionals


“No longer should the civil rights of medical professionals be held hostage to political interests,” said Dr. Charmaine Yoest.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (02-18-11) – Americans United for Life president and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest noted that the Obama Administration had rescinded almost all of the regulation protecting conscience rights for medical professionals – except the provision to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services.  

“AUL predicted that the rights of conscience of medical professionals could be violated without stronger protections,” said Dr. Yoest. “This must come to an end.  No longer should the civil rights of medical professionals be held hostage to political interests.”

She continued: “Today the Obama Administration acknowledged that it is a civil right not to participate in an abortion, but in the same breath weakened federal regulations designed to protect that right.  This underscores the necessity for Congressional action; health care providers must have an effective means to enforce their rights written in the law.  The protection of the basic civil right to provide care without participating in life-destructive activities must not be dependent on the whims of an Administration that has made expanding abortion central to its mission.”

The Obama Administration received more than 300,000 comments when it announced in 2009 that it intended to rescind regulations enacted under the Bush Administration to uphold federal conscience protection laws.  Nearly two-thirds of those comments expressed opposition to rescinding the conscience-protecting regulations.

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