Obama plans to repeal Bush’s “conscience clause” ruling

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 18 March 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1126
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    President Barack Obama’s administration began legal steps to reverse the controversial “conscience clause.” The ruling was issued in the last days of George W Bush’s administration and took effect the day President Obama was inaugurated.

    The ruling requires healthcare providers to certify in writing that they do not discriminate against healthcare workers who refuse to take part in procedures to which they have moral or religious objections (BMJ 2008;337:a3122, doi:10.1136/bmj.a3122). The ruling mentions abortion but does not define it and could apply to workers who object to any procedure. Providers who do not sign up to the ruling could face financial penalties.

    Medical, civil rights, women’s rights, state officials, and advocacy groups oppose the ruling. …

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