Friday, September 19, 2008

Protect Women’s Health Now

Hillary Clinton teamed up with Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, in today’s New York Times with an excellent editorial, Blocking Care for Women, that criticizes the recently proposed regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services that would allow medical professionals (doctors, nurses, receptionist, volunteers, you name it) to opt out of providing any medical procedure they find objectionable.

What’s on the line here? Well, abortion (of course), sterilization, possibly even basic forms of contraception, and other “unspecified medical procedures.”

As Clinton and Richards note:

Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable?

Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

These are all legitimate questions as the proposed rules are vague and leave room for interpretation. Nonetheless, whatever way you slice it, women lose.

There is less than a week left until the public comment period on the regulations closes. Don’t miss your chance to raise your voice and protect women’s health!