Wednesday, September 24, 2008

HSS Proposal to Let Doctors Refuse Abortions: Comment Deadline

If you haven't submitted your comments regarding the Department of Health and Human Services' proposed rule that would let any medical provider refuse any treatment to any patient at any time, today is the day to act. We know that this rule is intended to make it more difficult for women seeking medical help with abortions or birth control, yet anyone could be affected. If your doctor decides it would be against his code of ethics to provide fertility treatment to a WOC or a lesbian, for example, this rule would open room for him to refuse treatment. In short, this rule is not someone else's problem - it has the potential to impact all of us.

Tomorrow is the deadline, so it is imperative that we speak now. Two ways to submit comments include visiting the website and submitting a comment on their site (docket number HSS-OS-2008-0011) or emailing (put HSS-OS-2008-0011 in the subject line).

To be sure, the point of this HSS rule is to limit abortion access, and some will argue that it will not be interpreted in a way that will impact anyone but women seeking to terminate a pregnancy. Of course, even this intended interpretation of the HSS's proposed rule takes choices away from women and families and allows doctors to deny assistance to patients seeking medical care.

It is time for the anti-choice crowd to stop pretending that all situations are the same and attempting to to write rules to fit one ideal scenario in which bringing a pregnancy to term is a viable option. Who should make the decision in cases like those of
Tiffany Campbell, who discovered that she must terminate one twin fetus or loose both? Who should make the choice for a woman who's life might be put at risk by bringing a pregnancy to term? Who should decide for a woman with limited financial resources living in a country where medical bills routinely bankrupt working people who discovers that the fetus would be born with an illness that would require constant care and frequent medical treatments? Who should make these decisions - some Bush appointee or a doctor who believes that it is his or her right to deny legal medical procedures to anyone deemed unworthy?

Please join us in telling the HSS that women deserve the right to expect their doctors to provide medical services, not over-simplified world views and moral judgments.

(h/t to This Is What a Feminist Blogs Like, which has tirelessly provided information on this proposal from the start.)

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