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.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

The man behind the mess of Obamacare wants you to encourage abortion! Watch

Image of John Gruber, the man behind Obamacare, is an ardent supporter of abortion.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The architect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John Gruber, has made a fool of President Obama and the Democrats in his administration once again. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Gruber has been recorded numerous times admitting that the ACA was written and ... continue reading


Should Obama be able to use the IRS as a weapon to target conservative opponents? Watch

Image of President Obama has used the IRS as a weapon to target Tea Party and conservative opponents.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It should come as a surprise to no one that fraud and power abuse is rampant in President Obama's White House, and the new scandal fall on the heals of the old IRS tax scandals of the last few years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Treasury Inspector ... continue reading


Medicare, Social Security - all for illegal immigrants, thanks to Obama Watch

Image of In other words, those who work, which includes payroll taxes -- also known as FICA, as they are collected under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In President Obama's new plan to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of these same individuals will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Obama's war on America continues with secret Thanksgiving regulations dump Watch

Image of President Obama is going to release a new set of regulations over the Thanksgiving holiday, when many Americans are unlike to notice.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not content to listen to the voice of the American people after the 2014 midterm election, President Obama is set on continuing his power grab, and forcing his will whether Americans like it or not. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The White House is getting ... continue reading


Sen. Graham: Benghazi report misses information and is 'garbage' Watch

Image of Sen. Graham said he will take a 'hard look' at the new report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has blasted the Benghazi report recently released by the house Intelligence Committee. Graham says the report, released on Friday, is inaccurate, and called it "full of crap." LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Saying he thought "the ... continue reading


Seventh terrorist suspect released from Guantanamo in two weeks; Republicans protest Watch

Image of Muhammad al-Zahrani, became the 13th prisoner released this year and the seventh in just two weeks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Saudi Arabian man has been released from the terrorist holding facility Guantanamo Bay. He was the seventh such suspect in two weeks to have been transferred from the United States to another nation. The practice has created a great hue and cry among Republicans, who ... continue reading


The Immigration Conflagration and the Dangers of a Benevolent Dictator

Image of

By Keith A. Fournier

There is no question that comprehensive immigration reform is needed. Most people acknowledge this as a fact. However, the truth is President Obama could have participated in such reform, and he knows it, by working with the 114th Congress which will soon be sworn ... continue reading


Running out the door, Republicans too busy with Thanksgiving to address laws Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

With Thanksgiving turkeys dancing in their heads, many Republican lawmakers are running out the door in lieu of considering a plethora of new legislation. Republican members have discussed resolutions of disapproval and censure. One unnamed lawmaker was ... continue reading


The TOP 10 list of countries where slavery is most prevalent. DO YOU BENEFIT FROM SLAVERY? You might be shocked! Watch

Image of Poor Haitians are commonly enslaved by wealthier family members.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last week it was announced that some 36 million people around the world live in slavery, a number that is higher than at any time in history. While most Americans feel that slavery is a distant problem, which has little or no effect on their lives, the sad fact is that ... continue reading


Raking in the dough: Obamacare 'architect' worth millions Watch

Image of Jonathan Gruber has a lucrative connection with the Department of Health and Human Services.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Jonathan Gruber's good fortune would make lots of college students change their majors to economics. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with his firm Gruber Microsimulation Model has raked in millions. Gruber's chief function is estimating the ... 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, Revelation 20:1-4, 11--21:2
1 Then I saw an angel come down from heaven with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 84:3, 4, 5-6, 8
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, the swallow a ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 28th, 2014 Image

St. Catherine Laboure
November 28: St. Catherine Laboure, virgin, was born on May 2, 1806. At an ... 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