Major Threat to Religious Liberty

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Stop Effort To Rescind Conscience Regulation
Hear Message from Cardinal George

The Obama Administration has proposed to rescind regulations protecting healthcare workers and institutions from coercion or discrimination because they refuse to cooperate with abortion, sterilizations, or unethical research. You can help oppose this effort by sending comments by email or mail by April 9. Background, instructions, and talking points follow.


Beginning in 1973, three federal laws have been passed protecting the rights of healthcare workers and institutions to refuse to cooperate, perform, or refer people for abortions or sterilization procedures as a matter of conscience or religious convictions. Protections were extended to institutions doing research, education and training in 1996, and to additional healthcare providers, HMOs, insurance plans, and other healthcare professionals in 2004.

Watch important message from Cardinal George, President of the USCCB.

Because of an increasingly hostile environment toward healthcare workers and institutions that object to abortion on moral and religious grounds, the Department of Health and Human Services under the Bush Administration felt it necessary to adopt regulations to help educate Federal, state and local agencies about respecting the rights of conscience of healthcare workers and institutions receiving federal funds.

The Obama Administration says they believe the conscience clauses, which they refer to as refusal or denial clauses, will restrict women's access to health services (i.e. surgical and chemical abortions). Therefore, unless there is a huge outpouring of public opposition, they intend to rescind the regulation that is entitled, "Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive and Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law".

This effort is a threat to doctors, nurses, pharmacists, other healthcare workers, Catholic hospitals, insurance plans, and anyone else who chooses to stand in solidarity with the weakest, poorest, and most vulnerable among us - pre-born brothers and sisters. This is part of an effort to drive people and institutions that understand the inviolable dignity of human life out of healthcare.


The USCCB, the National Committee for the Human Life Amendment, Diocese across the country, Catholic hospitals, Catholic healthcare organizations, and all pro-life organizations are mobilizing to encourage comments in opposition.

How to Comment:

Office of Public Health and Science, DHHS,
Attn: Rescission Proposal Comments,
200 Independence Ave., SW, Rm 716G,
Washington, DC 20201

Deadline: April 9, 2009

Message: The message should be include an appeal to retain the conscience regulation and enforce the laws protecting the rights of healthcare providers to serve patients without violating their moral or religious convictions. The government has a special responsibility to ensure that the conscience rights of healthcare providers are fully protected.

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