Thursday, January 08, 2009

Making sure there’s still a choice

by Sheila Liaugminas

President Bush has secured, for now, the rights of health care workers to exercise their conscience in practicing medicine morally, while all around the country liberal activism pushes to allow only one choice: theirs. The right of conscience must be protected if we are not to be a socialist state.

The rules make it so medical centers and staff aren’t forced to do abortions or refer for them.
They provide better enforcement for existing federal laws by potentially revoking federal funding from violators and making them certify in writing that they will respect conscience rights.

But these rights are unacceptable to the ‘choice’ crowd, who want their choice made law.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut says he will lead a fight against the federal rule and is expected to file a lawsuit against it.

Though the new regulations have nothing to do with birth control, Blumenthal is echoing the arguments from leading pro-abortion groups who claim its access will be adversely impacted by them.

He said he will resume working with pro-abortion officials in the other states to derail the pro-life protections for medical centers and staff — slated to take effect on January 20.

Of course, that’s inauguration day. So what will happen to conscience clauses after that?
Here’s some cause for concern:

In April 2007, Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, along with other pro-abortion legislators, re-introduced what is called the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). Denise Burke, legal counsel for Americans United for Life, describes FOCA as “a radical attempt to enshrine abortion-on-demand into American law.” The National Right to Life Committee describes FOCA as an attempt to “invalidate all limits on abortion.” Barack Obama has pledged his support for FOCA and promised Planned Parenthood that if he was elected president, he would sign FOCA into law if the legislation reached his desk.

Amazingly, many Americans still don’t know about the Freedom of Choice Act, a misnomer to beat them all. Here’s a re-cap…

If abortion is established as a “right” on par with the freedom of speech and freedom of religion, no American citizen will be able to object to any woman’s plan to have an abortion. FOCA puts the “right” to abortion on a collision course with the First Amendment rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. As [Denise] Burke states, FOCA is “a radical attempt to prematurely end debate about abortion.” Thus, not only can we expect abortions to increase in this country—despite the fact that abortion proponents often call abortion a “tragedy” and something they would like to see decreased in incidence—but no healthcare provider will be able to conscientiously object to a woman’s request to have an abortion. Healthcare providers, then, will be forced to go against their religious and ethical beliefs, or they will have to leave their professions.

Further likely consequences…

To name a few, FOCA will nullify the legal protections that have been afforded to Catholic hospitals, force all medical students to train to perform abortions, overturn parental notification and informed consent laws, and force American taxpayers to fund abortion, which many find morally objectionable.

Nurse and bioethics expert Nancy Valko, a friend, passed along this letter she sent to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Dear editor, As an RN of almost 40 years experience, I am shocked that a St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial (”An unconscionable conscience rule” December 24, 2008) would state that doctors, nurses and pharmacists with ethical objections to participating in certain procedures or treatments just “should choose another profession.” This is not just about abortion. Legalized assisted suicide has just been passed in Washington state in addition to Oregon. Missouri has seen similar efforts. Should we then just choose another state?

And as a recipient of health care for almost 60 years, I am more than nervous about accessing a health care system solely populated by doctors, pharmacists and nurses who are comfortable with ending life.

We have enough problems as it is with medical ethics. We deny conscience rights at our own peril. Sincerely,Nancy Valko, RN

Unlike the citizens of Nazi Germany, who didn’t know the extermination had already started in the hospitals, we have been warned.

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