Just before its end, the Bush Administration put in place a set of regulations that would allow any employee of a health care provider to refuse to treat any individual receiving any services that would violate the employee’s moral beliefs, dramatically and unnecessarily expanding conscientious refusal protections and undermining the importance of reproductive health.
Now is the time to make your voice heard. Let Charles E. Johnson, Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services know that we will not stand for scientifically inaccurate policies meant to undermine reproductive justice!
- This regulation could severely limit access to contraception, as many of the clinics that low-income Latinas frequent often receive federal funding, which may be compromised under these new definitions.
- The inability to fire or refuse to hire providers that would refuse to give women vital reproductive health services, no matter how central an aspect this is to the job, could place exceptionally unqualified persons in women’s healthcare, and would add an element of stigma and shame to what should be standard women’s health services.
I am writing to urge you to rescind the Department of Health and Human Services’ regulation that could significantly limit women’s access to basic reproductive health services. If it remains in place, this regulation could undermine the nation’s fragile network of safety-net providers that serve low-income women, many of whom are women of color.
This rule permits health care providers to refuse to perform any services they deem morally objectionable – which raises critical questions about access to all health care services.
If it is not rescinded, the regulation will be an especially hard hit to low-income women and women of color. Programs such as Medicaid and Title X are critically important for low-income Latinas, and this regulation raises grave concerns regarding its possible impact on access to basic reproductive health services.
Given these concerns, and the certainty that, if the regulation remains in place, it will limit access to essential medical services that women – and in particular low-income women and women of color – depend upon, we urge the DHHS to rescind this rule.