I Can Haz Utorus?

Just when I thought my private bits were safe from harm, I read this article in today’s New York Timest.  Apparently, all the letters that H*yas for Choice collected were for nothing.  Although he missed the May 1 and Nov 1. deadline, G.W. Bush is planning to push through the so-called provider conscience regulations.

I’ve said this before, I don’t think being pro-choice means you need to be 100% comfortable with abortion.  This is a complex issue and reasonable, educated, intelligent people will probably disagree about it forever.  But, and this is a huge thing for me, your own personal choices do not need to be the personal choices for everyone else.

My major problem with the legislation is that it allows doctors and nurses to refuse to reffer someone to another place where they can obtain birth control, condoms, an abortion, EC, etc.  I think that it is one thing to personally opt out of these services, tell your patients long before they get into the exam room, and publicize this personal choice for your personal practice.  It is not, however, in any way okay with me to deny women the information they need to make informed medical choices.  A rape victim should never have to wonder if the doctor in the ER will proscribe EC.  If an assault victim asks for EC she is making a choice for herself and that doctor, whose role in her life she had little control over, should carry out her wishes.

Please, please contact HHS or the White House using the Planned Parenthood online form.  You can also submit your own letter using my text (after the jump)

Office of Public Health and Science
Department of Health and Human Services
Attention: Brenda Destro
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue, S.W., Room 728E
Washington, DC 20201

RE: Provider Conscience Regulation

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am writing to voice my strong opposition to HHS’ proposed “Provider Conscience Regulation.”

While I fully agree that physicians and other health care providers should not be punished for their beliefs, I am deeply concerned about allowing physicians to refuse referral.  It is one thing to allow physicians to opt out of performing particular procedures but they should not be put in a position to use the exam room to advance a political or moral agenda.

Patients trust their physicians to provide them with complete, comprehensive, and accurate information regardless of their own political or religious belief.  That information includes the names of physicians willing to treat the patient as she wishes.  Patients deserve information so they can make fully informed decisions about the course of their own treatment.

Abortion, birth control, emergency contraception, and other reproductive health care options are legal, safe, and approved for use in the United States.  Access to this care should not be withheld from a patient because she and her doctor do not share the same religious, ethical, or political beliefs.

I appreciate HHS’ willingness to review comments from the general public. Thank you for your consideration.


The letter can be submitted via mail or via the HHS website.

P.S. Thanks to the women of Feministing for that amazing photo of W.


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