One of the 11th-hour outrages of the Bush administration has been the effort to allow health care workers to not provide information to women about not only abortion but other medical procedures, thus opening a way to deny help with contraception. Hillary Clinton is co-author of an op-ed on the subject in today's NY Times.
Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of “other medical procedures.” Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?
The Bush administration argues that the rule is designed to protect a provider’s conscience. But where are the protections for patients?
123 days to go. Seems like an eternity.