Illinois action blog

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Letters to U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services: Proposed Regulation Is All Politics

Yesterday, Slate featured a great piece regarding recent reports that the Bush administration is circulating a draft of a proposed Department of Health and Human Services regulation that, if enacted, would jeopardize women’s health. William Saletan's article, written in the form of a sarcastic letter to HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, exposes the atrociousness of this potential regulation and shows just how dangerous it can be to play politics with women's health. The regulation would allow health care providers to withhold both health care services and the critical information women need to make fully informed decisions about their health care.

As written, the proposed rule would:

- confuse contraception with abortion, putting political agendas ahead of patients’ needs

- allow employees to deny the provision of any health care service that they were hired
perform, including dispensing birth control to women

- take away the guarantee of access to complete information and a full range of health care services that women currently have in federally funded health care entities

In a commendable show of support for women and their families, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan voiced her opinion on the subject by sending her own letter to Secretary Leavitt. Madigan's letter conveyed her "strenuous opposition" to the proposed rule. The conclusion of her letter read as follows:

"As Illinois Attorney General, I am deeply troubled by this ideologically motivated effort to effectively overturn state protections intended to help women access basic health care and make fully-informed, responsible and medically-based health-care decisions. At a time when so many Americans, including millions of Illinois residents, are struggling to obtain and afford health care and millions of women are in need of publicly funded family planning, a regulation that puts ideology and politics over critical healthcare needs is unconscionable and reckless. I strongly urge you to reject this proposed regulation."

Check out the Deborah Douglas article from The Chicago Sun Times for some background information on this issue here.

Technorati tags: tagname, Planned Parenthood, Lisa Madigan, family planning


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