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Controversial Last-Minute Rule to Protect Health Care Providers

Published November 18, 2008 4:40 PM by Jennifer Ford

The New York Times reported today in "Protests Over a Rule to Protect Health Care Providers" that the Bush administration is seeking to grant protection to health care providers who refuse to provide treatment to patients based on moral grounds or religious beliefs:

The proposed rule would prohibit recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and other health care workers who refuse to perform or to assist in the performance of abortions or sterilization procedures because of their “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”

It would also prevent hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices and drugstores from requiring employees with religious or moral objections to “assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity” financed by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Opponents to the rule believe that many providers would refuse to perform abortions or provide birth control. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission believes that it undoes 40 years of protection against job discrimination based on religious beliefs.

ADVANCE wonders how NPs weigh in on this issue. Add your comments below!


It about time that someone stands up for those who do practice what as they believe.  As  person who is a Christian we are commanded by the Bible to not kill.  That would mean no participation in any method of killing, ie abortion.  There are enough in health care who believe that abortion etc is OK.  We are a nation under God,  Our forefathers came to this country for religious freedom so that we do have the right to practice what we believe. We are "ONE nation under GOD with liberty and justice for all."  

Susan Dumas, primary care - ANP BC, office November 18, 2008 5:44 PM
rutland VT

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