Illinois action blog

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HHS Update: Planned Parenthood Wants Administration To Be Held Accountable

It seems that the Bush Administration is dead set on messing with reproductive rights even if they have to violate their own rules to do it. This week Planned Parenthood, along with the Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU, sent a letter to the U.S. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget. The letter strongly urges OIRA to take its oversight responsibilities seriously with respect to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and stop the so-called "provider conscience" regulation from being issued.

As you may recall, this dangerous regulation would allow individual health care providers to redefine abortion to include the most common forms of birth control, and allow them to refuse to provide women with crucial health information and services. There have already been an overwhelming number of comments from the public, not to mention letters from clergy, medical professionals and elected officials, urging the administration to can this horrid regulation (Read some of them here). Despite these efforts, the administration has pushed onward with their final version - one that could be issued some time in the next few days.

The letter the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU sent to OIRA addresses the disastrous effect this regulation could have on healthcare for women. It also points out that HHS violated the White House directive issued in May outlining deadlines for administrative agencies to follow when issuing regulations in the closing days of the Bush administration. That directive makes exceptions only for “extraordinary circumstances,” and HHS has NOT explained the “extraordinary circumstances” in this case.

For more information on the situation, click here to read the New York Times article from yesterday.

Technorati tags: tagname, provider conscience regulation, Planned Parenthood, HHS

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