FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2011
3:57 PM

CONTACT: National Women's Law Center

Maria Patrick or Andrea Maruniak, 202-588-5180

HHS Rescinds Harmful Bush-Era Conscience Regulation

WASHINGTON - February 18 -

Today the Department of Health and Human Services rescinded in part and revised the Bush-era regulation entitled, “Ensuring That Department of Health and Human Services Funds Do Not Support Coercive or Discriminatory Policies or Practices in Violation of Federal Law”.

The following is a statement by NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger:

“The Obama Administration was correct in rescinding the highly inaccurate and dangerous provisions in a regulation imposed by the Bush Administration in late 2008. It put the health and safety of American women at risk by expanding far beyond legal limits the ability of health care providers to refuse necessary treatment and information to patients—particularly when seeking reproductive health care, but going far beyond. The highly controversial regulation, which has been challenged in the courts, in effect encouraged providers to deny access not only to abortion services and information but also to contraception, treatment for infertility, depression, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS in ways that the law does not allow. Indeed, virtually any medical service could have been swept within its expansive purview. 

“Yet the danger to American women remains. At the very time that these harmful provisions have been rescinded, the majority in the House is pressing for legislation that would go even further in putting essential health care out of the reach of women and their families.”

 

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The National Women's Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's legal rights.  The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women.  For more information on the Center, visit:  www.nwlc.org.

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