Bush Rule Shields Docs Who Deny Women Abortions, Pill

New regulation lets health care workers refuse 'immoral' work
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2008 5:32 AM CDT
US Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt. New federal rules would makes it more difficult for women to obtain abortions and contraceptives.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, Pool)
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(Newser) – Doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other health care workers would have the right to refuse to provide abortion services, contraception or even information on preventing or ending pregnancies under a controversial new regulation issued by the Bush administration. The proposed rule would force hospitals, clinics and other health care providers to accommodate employees' moral objections or lose federal funding, reports the Washington Post.  

"It's breathtaking," said one stunned bioethicist. "The impact could be enormous."  A spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood warned that the new rule allows "ideology" to pose "a serious threat to women's health care." But Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Levitt insisted that people "should not be forced to do things they believe are morally wrong."