Birth Control Fears Addressed HHS Chief Says Draft Rule Is Not Redefining Abortion
By Rob Stein Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, August 9, 2008; A02
Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt has denied that a controversial draft regulation would redefine common birth control methods as abortion and protect the rights of doctors and other health-care workers who refuse to provide them.
In a statement posted on his blog on Thursday, Leavitt appeared to try to allay fears that the proposed regulation would create sweeping new obstacles to women seeking a variety of commonly used contraceptives, such as birth control pills and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
"An early draft of the regulation found its way into public circulation before it had reached my review," Leavitt said.
"It contained words that lead some to conclude my intent is to deal with the subject of contraceptives, somehow defining them as abortion. Not true."
. . . The draft regulation would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions.
Yet another swipe by the same interest groups who claimed pharmacists were being 'forced' to provide contraceptive devices and medications against their moral positions.
There simply does not exist another interest group on these issues other than religion-based. Private hospitals and clinics, if they choose, are entirely within their rights to decline such activity. That puts pressure on patients who have no other medical facilities within the immediate area, but private is private.
Unless, of course, federal money is changing hands and then the lines are less clear. One would reasonably presume that, under the constitutional divide between church and state, federal money would assure 'choice.'
The answer a reasonable person might conclude, is to stop trying to represent one person's rights as abusive to another. The right to abortion and contraception is guaranteed. So is the right to one's private conscience (at least so far).
Thus, if anyone even remotely connected to the health-care system finds their personal moral codes at risk by the terms of their employment, they need only remember that those codes are personal. The employee in question is not chained to an oar in the galley.
Find a job that suits you and don't ask government to make your employer suit your personal moral code.