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Gov. Rendell Expresses Disappointment with Bush Administration's Last-Minute Regulation Limiting Patient Care
Date:1/5/2009

izing and recommended a number of amendments that would not violate the rights of women as it pertains to their health needs.

"After a troublingly short review period and despite serious concerns being expressed by numerous stakeholders and individuals, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decided to finalize this rule as quickly as possible and only provided the smallest window of time for accepting public comments that the law allows. It's additionally troubling that the federal agency made no effort to seriously consider and respond to the thousands of reservations and concerns, including the lack of a definition of abortion."

The Governor added that the rushed effort to finalize the rule did not meet the threshold for urgency or the deadlines established by the White House. A May 2008 memo from President Bush's Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolton stated: "Except in extraordinary circumstances, regulations to be finalized in this Administration should be proposed no later than June 1, 2008, and final regulations should be issued no later than November 1, 2008."

"The Heath and Human Services department has failed to show that any 'extraordinary circumstances' exist that make this rule necessary," said the Governor. "Furthermore, it has ignored the June and November deadlines.

"It's unfortunate that HHS found it necessary to proceed with issuing the final rule, even though Pennsylvania and thousands of other individuals, states and organizations voiced their objections," said Governor Rendell. "Having reviewed the final rule, Pennsylvania is disappointed many of the comments it presented were either not addressed or outright ignored. The Bush administration's decision to proceed in this manner demonstrates a complete failure to consider the interests of Pennsylvanians and all citizens of the United States."

The Governor added that Pennsylvania will continue to review the f
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor
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