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Government ruling would protect US healthcare workers who object to abortion

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 02 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1509
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    The US Department of Health and Human Services has issued a draft proposal to protect healthcare workers from discrimination if they object to abortion.

    The regulation would apply to 584 000 employers in the healthcare sector that receive federal funding from programmes such as Medicare (which provides health insurance for elderly and some disabled people), Medicaid (which provides insurance for poor people), those that offer reproductive health services to poor people, and biomedical research projects. It applies to doctors and nurses and workers in “any activity with a reasonable connection” to the particular service.

    Hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, and other facilities would have to certify in writing that they do not discriminate against employees who have religious or moral objections to abortion. Facilities could lose federal funding, …

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