Action Alert: Protect Medical Services from Religious Objectors

Last month the Secular Coalition for America asked its grassroots activists to contact the Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency (HHS) to express outrage that proposed regulations redefined contraception as abortion. The new proposal leaves out that specific provision.  However, the current official proposal is broad enough to allow anyone working or volunteering in any medical or research facility which receives any federal funding to refuse to serve patients or conduct research to avoid violating their "conscience."

The current proposal leaves out any provision to protect patients (e.g. requiring that someone else serve them – even in emergency situations.) The proposal is so broad that it could allow individuals to interfere with medical services in a number of areas including:

  • - advance directives/end of life care
  • - any medical treatment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender patients
  • - provision of contraception, including emergency contraception (even in rape clinics)
  • - vaccinations
  • - psychiatric care
  • - any services funded by Medicare and Medicaid

HHS is accepting comment regarding the proposed regulation until September 25, 2008.  It is essential that they hear from as many people as possible.

Please tell Secretary Leavitt that these proposed regulations to allow a medical professional to object to performing tasks that they oppose for religious reasons will mean denying a patient the right to medically sound information, products, and procedures.


Send the following sample e-mail to HHS, or craft your own.  Feel free to adapt this sample to your specific concerns.  While the Secular Coalition for America is also sending its comments, individuals' grassroots communication can make the difference on this issue.

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