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Conscience Protections Essential to Healthcare System, Americans United for Life Argues in Comments Filed with HHS

CHICAGO, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Americans United for Life (AUL) has filed comments with the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) affirming the need for a proposed regulation that will protect the freedom of conscience of healthcare providers nationwide.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of AUL said, "Protecting the rights of healthcare providers is critical to the continuing viability and safety of our healthcare system."

"Protecting conscience helps to ensure that providers enter and remain in the healthcare professions, helping to meet the rising demand for quality care," continued Yoest. "Failing to protect freedom of conscience will most certainly compromise basic healthcare for the entire nation."

Denise Burke, AUL Vice President & Legal Director added, "Laws such as the proposed HHS regulation acknowledge that certain demands of patients, usually for procedures that are life-destructive and not life-saving, must not be blindly accommodated to the detriment of the freedom of healthcare providers."

The proposed HHS regulation will require recipients of federal funding through HHS to certify compliance with existing federal laws including the Hyde-Weldon Amendment and the Church Amendment, which protect the right of healthcare providers to decline to participate in abortions for reasons of conscience.

In its comments, AUL argues that the proposed regulation is a much-needed and long-overdue enforcement mechanism for existing federal laws protecting healthcare freedom of conscience. In addition, the failure to adequately protect conscience -- through both appropriate laws and requisite enforcement mechanisms -- will only exacerbate the existing healthcare crisis in this country.

To view AUL's comments, go to

About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which every human being is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.



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Matthew Eppinette


SOURCE Americans United For Life
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