Saturday, July 04, 2009

That Conscience Clause Again

I have written quite a lot* about the health care worker's conscience clause in the past. Somehow I thought I wouldn't have to go on writing about it for ever, sigh:

President Barack Obama said today that he still favors a "robust" federal policy protecting health-care workers who have moral objections to performing some procedures even though he plans to roll back a Bush administration rule that expanded such protection.

Speaking to eight religion reporters at the White House before his first meeting with Pope Benedict XVI next Friday, Obama sought to reassure Catholic health-care workers that they would not be forced to perform abortions and other procedures that violate the Church's teachings. Obama said he is a "believer in conscience clauses" and supports a new policy that would "certainly not be weaker" than the rules in place before the expansion late in President George W. Bush's administration.

I'm not sure what "certainly not weaker" means in this context or what "robust" might mean, because this is is so far only talk. But let me just point out that the stronger the conscience clause permissions are the less options women have when seeking health care.

I didn't know that Obama was all for conscience clauses before the elections. Did you?
* Here are some of my blog posts on conscience clause(click on each word separately). (I have also written about it for the Huffington Post and the American Prospect magazine but their contents are covered here).