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FRC Deplores Obama's Expected Action Against Conscience Protections
Date:2/27/2009

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, the Family Research Council (FRC) responded to President Obama's expected action to stop the implementation of regulations to enforce the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments that protect health care providers' right of conscience. These regulations would have increased public awareness of, and ensured governmental enforcement of, these vital statutes.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080930/FRCLOGO)

Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, released the following statement:

"For President Obama to do this would be a huge blow to religious freedom and First Amendment rights. No one should be forced to have an abortion, and no one should be forced to be an abortionist in violation of their religious or ethical convictions. However, President Obama intends to stop regulations to enforce conscience protection statutes. In doing so, he will open the door to discrimination against the choice of healthcare workers who do not want to be complicit in abortion or other controversial practices. These regulations would have ensured that healthcare workers are not forced to participate in the performance or promotion of abortion against their will.

"Despite current law that has protected conscience rights for over 30 years, the lack of regulations resulted in confusion and a lack of awareness within the health care community, leaving health care personnel vulnerable to discrimination and forcing them to drop their specialties at a crucial time of health care scarcity. Protecting the right of all health care providers to make professional judgments based on moral convictions and ethical standards is foundational to federal law and is necessary to ensure that access to healthcare is not diminished, which will occur if healthcare workers are forced out of their jobs because of their ethical stances. President Obama's intention to change the language of these protections would result in the government becoming the conscience and not the individual. It is a person's right to exercise their moral judgment, not the government's to decide it for them.

"It is unfortunate that President Obama is planning to bow down to pro-abortion forces and stop enforcement of laws enacted to protect the choice of healthcare providers not to participate in abortion or other controversial practices. Family Research Council urges President Obama to change course and defend the conscience laws for healthcare workers by keeping these much-needed regulations in place."


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SOURCE Family Research Council
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