Guest Blogger Danio, sneaking a few more posts in:
Remember that execrable HHS policy document that proposes an extension of the current protections for health care workers who refuse to provide or assist in treatments that they personally find morally objectionable? I did a little back-tracking on this issue, and followed the trail of HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, who requested this regulation after a “disappointing” interaction with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He has since been unwavering in his support of the proposal–which he claims is not about abortion OR contraception, but about conscience rights–and has a recent blog post responding to the feedback he’s received from pro-choice activists as a result of the leaked document.
Here’s the money quote:
Is the fear here that so many doctors will refuse that it will somehow make it difficult for a woman to get an abortion? That hasn’t happened, but what if it did? Wouldn’t that be an important and legitimate social statement?
“Social statement?” I can scarcely get my mind around the fact that he is so openly, unapologetically endorsing a policy in which pious opinion would trump secular law. Once again, though, it shouldn’t be a surprise. After all, he himself states that “The Bush Administration has consistently supported the unborn”. Ah yes, even as they indiscriminately leech the quality of life (if not the life itself) from countless other self-aware, functioning humans on the planet, each and every blastocyst they encounter is ceremoniously wrapped in a mantle of sanctimonious protection.
Somehow even more disheartening are the numerous fawning, unctuous comments on Leavitt’s recent blog entry. One wrote:
It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would be offended by a health care professional who valued human life. But the tragedy is our culture has regressed to a form of barbarism unseen in centuries where progress in technology and science has poisoned our minds, hearts and souls where the intentional destruction of innocent and vulnerable human life has become more important than saving it.
Those of us living and working in a society where human life is expendable by government dictate but fail to stand up to protect and cherish life at any and all costs will live to regret it.
You are doing the right thing Secretary by allowing those of us in the health care profession live our moral and ethical consciences rather than forcing us to choose another profession.
Choose another profession like….a PETA supporter working in a meat packing plant?An auto mechanic who doesn’t support the use of fossil fuels?
Keep your eyes on this one. It has ‘lame duck’s parting shot’ written all over it.
UPDATE: Leavitt has a new blog entry up today announcing that the proposed rule is being filed in the Federal Register. Although the final draft no longer contains the specific language broadening the definition of “abortion” to include anything from “conception” onward, it still threatens to withhold Federal money if health care organizations don’t allow their employees to exercise their rights of conscience.