Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Penny Starr

7/8/2009 (5 years ago)

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

But Obama opposes a regulation put into place by the Bush administration that would require those federally funded providers to certify compliance.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said President Barack Obama supports existing federal laws that prevent federally funded health care providers from forcing doctors and pharmacists who morally oppose abortion from either performing the procedure or providing abortion-inducing medication.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said President Barack Obama supports existing federal laws that prevent federally funded health care providers from forcing doctors and pharmacists who morally oppose abortion from either performing the procedure or providing abortion-inducing medication.

Highlights

By Penny Starr

CNSNews (www.cnsnews.com)

7/8/2009 (5 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy


WASHINGTON (CNSNews.com) – Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said President Barack Obama supports existing federal laws that prevent federally funded health care providers from forcing doctors and pharmacists who morally oppose abortion from either performing the procedure or providing abortion-inducing medication.

But Obama opposes a regulation put into place by the Bush administration that would require those federally funded providers to certify compliance with the law, Sebelius said.

On March 10, the Obama administration submitted to the Federal Register a proposal to rescind the “conscience clause” rule entitled “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law.”

“There really hasn’t been a change in status of what the president proposed,” Sebelius told CNSNews.com during a conference call with reporters on Monday. “The president continues to support the underlying law.

“He felt the regulation issued in the final days of the Bush administration was overly broad and jeopardizes critical health services for women,” she said.

The March 10 proposal states: “The department believes it is important to have an opportunity to review this regulation to ensure its consistency with current Administration policy and to reevaluate the necessity for regulations implementing the Church Amendments, Section 245 of the Public Health Service Act, and the Weldon Amendment.”

The Church Amendments are conscience clauses of the Public Health Service Act, enacted at various times during the 1970s, which prohibit the use of federal funds going to health care entities that discriminate against health care professionals who morally object to abortion or sterilization.

In 2005, the Weldon Amendment was adopted as a section of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and re-adopted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2009. The amendment does not allow federal funding of entities if “such agency, program, or [state or local] government subjects any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.”

In explaining its proposed rescinding of the Bush administration rule, then-acting HHS Secretary Charles E. Johnson cited the public comments collected during the 60-day comment period that expired on Feb. 27, 2009.

“Commenters asserted that the rule would limit access to patient care and raised concerns that individuals could be denied access to services, with effects felt disproportionately by those in rural areas or otherwise underserved,” the acting secretary wrote.

“The Department believes that the comments on the August 2008 proposed rule raised a number of questions that warrant further careful consideration,” Johnson wrote.

In his summary of the rule, then-HHS secretary under the Bush administration, Michael Leavitt, wrote that the regulation was meant to ensure that pro-life health care professionals were protected and that federally funded health entities were following the law.

“The Department of Health and Human Services proposes to promulgate regulations to ensure that Department funds do not support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law, pursuant to the Church Amendments (42 U.S.C. § 300a-7), Public Health Service (PHS) Act §245 (42 U.S.C. § 238n), and the Weldon Amendment (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-161, § 508(d), 121 Stat. 1844, 2209),” reads the summary.

“This notice of proposed rulemaking proposes to define certain key terms. Furthermore, in order to ensure that recipients of Department funds know about their legal obligations under these nondiscrimination provisions, the Department proposes to require written certification by certain recipients that they will comply with all three statutes, as applicable,” the summary added.

Sebelius refused to answer a follow-up question about if and when the “conscience clause” rule would be officially rescinded by President Obama.

---

CNSNews.com is a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization. Like National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System, CNSNews.com is able to provide its services and information to the public at no cost, thanks to the generous support of our thousands of donors and their tax-deductible contributions.This article is reprinted with permission.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Politics & Policy

House of Representatives may subpoena Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail server Watch

Image of Asked to evaluate Clinton's chances of being elected the next president of the United States, Boehner said Hillary Clinton could be a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The House of Representatives may subpoena Hillary Clinton's personal e-mail server if she does not voluntarily surrender it for examination by an independent party, John Boehner revealed this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I've not made any decisions ... continue reading


Eating at the government's table: 353,000 refugees on food stamps, 55,000 receiving SSI Watch

Image of They come from faraway lands to the United States in search of a better life - all on the taxpayer's dime.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

They come from faraway lands to the United States in search of a better life - all on the taxpayer's dime. It has been learned that at least 350,000 refugees in the U.S. are on food stamps, according the Congressional Research Service, or CRS. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Bill and Hillary Clinton have been 'disorganized and greedy,' analyst says Watch

Image of Regardless of Bill Clinton's personal feelings about Obama, it did not take him long to see the advantages of an Obama Presidency. More than anyone, he pushed Hillary to take the job of Secretary of State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, along with his wife Hillary - who has her eyes on the presidential seat come 2016, reportedly have a "web of connections between Bill's private work, Hillary Clinton's public role as secretary of State, the Clintons' ... continue reading


Loretta Lynch makes history as the first African-American female U.S. attorney general Watch

Image of Loretta Lynch is the first African American female attorney general in the history of the United States.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Loretta Lynch has been confirmed as the new U.S. attorney general last Thursday. History is made as she became the first African-American woman to occupy such a crucial and distinct government position. Lynch was not present during the Senate confirmation, however, her ... continue reading


Have they found their man? Koch brothers offer audition to Jeb Bush Watch

Image of Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, may be the candidate likely to receive support from the Koch brothers and their network of extensive political contacts.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Koch brothers, Charles and David, the wealthy political donors who have dipped their hands and massive fortunes into U.S. politics for years, may have upped their involvement, considering for the first time whether to lend their wealth and organizational ... continue reading


Will one book ruin Hillary Clinton's entire presidential campaign? Watch

Image of Hillary Clinton's campaign takes a big hit with new book.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A controversial "tell all" book about the Clinton Foundation's funding habits, titled "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich," is set to enter stores and rock Hillary's campaign next month. ... continue reading


Social Security numbers issued to more than half a million illegal immigrants in U.S. Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The cornerstone to lawful employment to labor in the United States, it has been recently revealed that more than half a million illegal immigrants - or 541,000 illegal aliens. This disheartening statistic has been revealed by Carolyn Colvin, acting commissioner ... continue reading


Hillary Clinton caught in shameful lie on family's history Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As Hillary Clinton continues to shape her platform for presidency, she is reported as boasting her family's immigration history. During one of her first speeches as an official candidate, Clinton said that "all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States," ... continue reading


Federal government sets all-time record for tax revenue Watch

Image of We will not know how much additional tax revenue the Treasury pulled in until it releases its next daily statement tomorrow afternoon. Every dollar of it will add to the new record.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tax day has arrived - and with the close of business on April 14, the Treasury brought in a record $1,477,901,000,000 since fiscal 2015. Began on October 1, 2014, these figures are courtesy of the Daily Treasury Statement. Despite this record tax revenue, the ... continue reading


INSANE: U.S. federal tax code is 74,608 pages long! Watch

Image of If the tax code continues to grow at the same pace it did over the last century, it will pass 100,000 pages in 2050.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you had your taxes professionally prepared this year, you may now fully appreciate what your accountant or cleric did for you this year. The U.S. federal tax code is a whopping 74,608 pages long! Try to imagine trying to digest all the nuances that go along ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter