Last month, the Bush administration proposed a new rule from the Department of Health and Human Services. According to a New York Times op-ed penned by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, the little switcheroo would require that “any health care entity that receives federal financing—whether it’s a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government—certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.” Write Rodham and Richards:

Laws that have been on the books for some 30 years already allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further, ensuring that all employees and volunteers for health care entities can refuse to aid in providing any treatment they object to, which could include not only abortion and sterilization but also contraception.

Following the rule’s official announcement is a 30-day comment period before the rule goes into effect. Only two days remain in that period, which ends September 25. Planned Parenthood is urging those opposed to the rule to send a form letter to the Department of Health and Human Services voicing their opinion on the rule.

Letter after the jump.

I am writing to oppose the so-called “conscience” rule recently submitted by Secretary Leavitt. This regulation poses a serious threat to women’s health care by limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services.

At a time when more and more families are uninsured and under economic assault, we find our health care system is in crisis and our president taking steps to deny access to basic care. Women’s ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology.

[Add your own comments here about why you oppose the administration’s decision.]


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