A few weeks ago, I wrote about Secretary Leavitt’s proposal that broadly defined abortion to include some types of birth control. Many of you immediately responded to my request to tell Secretary Leavitt to reject the proposed regulation. Leavitt responded, and the definition of abortion was removed; however, the proposal still moved forward in its new form.

On August 26th, the Department of Health and Human Services proposed the new regulation which would allow health care providers to refuse to perform services they deem morally objectionable. Although abortion is not defined in this version, the regulation remains open to interpretation and allows employees to refuse to conduct or assist research activities. A full text of the proposal can be found here.

This regulation could severely affect a woman’s access to reproductive health care, including, but not limited to, abortions. The regulation does not include patients’ rights, and federal funding can be taken away from clinics that do not comply. This is particularly damaging to low-income women who may not be able to visit multiple clinics to receive the healthcare they need.

Currently, there is a 30-day comment period for the regulation. Act now and send your comments to Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt expressing your opposition to the regulation!

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Grace Garner

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