Docs: We'll Quit If Obama Lifts Bush Abortion Rules

Analysts: older regs let health workers avoid certain procedures
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 6, 2009 12:28 PM CDT
President Barack Obama meets with Senate Democrats to discuss health care, Tuesday, June 2, 2009.   (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)
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(Newser) – Some doctors who oppose abortion say they’ll quit their jobs if President Obama repeals Bush regulations that allow health care professionals to refuse to perform operations that are in opposition with their beliefs, NPR reports. A Christian Medical Association report found that “90% of those surveyed said they will quit their practices before violating their conscience.” A repeal “sends a clear message: It's open season on health care professionals of conscience—discriminate at will.”

But some experts cite other, longstanding rules that protect those who don’t want to carry out certain operations. “Conscience clauses are on the books in almost every state,” says a bioethics analyst, who feels that the Bush rules are too vague. “Words like belief, when you talk about them in the context of health care, aren't just anything you might think of. They have to be defensible. And a false belief about science or the promotion of ambiguity where things can be disambiguated is not ethical."