Obama Will Undo Abortion 'Conscience' Provision

Rule helped workers avoid aiding abortions
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2009 1:58 PM CST
The Bush rule prohibits discrimination against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform procedures because of their "religious beliefs or moral convictions."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Obama White House plans to overturn protections that President Bush extended to health workers who refuse to perform abortions or other procedures on moral grounds, the New York Times reports. Bush’s last-minute “conscience regulation” took effect on Obama’s first day in office, and now, after a 30-day public comment period, the regulation can be modified or abolished.

Catholic groups applauded the rule, but opponents, including the American Medical Association, said it could violate state laws and added that federal legislation already offers protection from religion-based discrimination. “Today’s action by the Obama administration demonstrates that this president is not going to stand by and let women’s health be placed in jeopardy,” said the president of Planned Parenthood.