On August 21, 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion.
The rule leaves open the possibility that based on religious beliefs institutions and individuals can deny women access to birth control and individuals can refuse to provide information and counseling about basic heath care services. Moreover, they expand existing laws by permitting a wider range of health care professionals to refuse to provide even referrals for abortion services.
For years, federal law has carefully balanced protections for individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care. The proposed regulations appear to take patients’ health needs out of the equation.
There is a 30 day comment period, ending September 20, 2008. This is the time to make your voice heard and to help protect access to birth control.
Send your comment to DHS today!