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New Conscience Regulation

The Bush administration has issued a new rule that will require hospitals and other facilities that receive federal funding to certify compliance with the federal healthcare conscience protection statutes, which protect an entity's and individual's right to refuse to participate in an abortion. New York law already prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee who refuses to assist with performing an abortion due to his/her conscience or religious beliefs and has filed a prior written refusal with the appropriate person. The new rule requires health care entities, including individual physicians, to submit the following certification in an application for a grant, cooperative agreement, contract, grant under a contract, memorandum of understanding or other funding or employment instrument or contract or when receiving funds from a recipient of such instrument:

As the duly authorized representative of the recipient I certify that the recipient of funds made available through this instrument will not subject any institutional or individual health care entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortion as part of the federal program for which it receives funding.

The new rule goes into effect January 1, 2009, but HHS agencies have until October 1, 2009 to phase in the written certification requirement. Senators Clinton and Murry have introduced legislation to overturn the new rule.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 22, 2008 3:44 PM.

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