Prescription for Controversy: Bush Endorses Move To Curtail Access To Birth Control
In the final months of his administration, Bush is trying to force through a draft regulation that will “deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions,” the Washington Post reported yesterday. In other words, if a pharmacist doesn’t want to fill a birth control prescription, he doesn’t have to.As Sandhya Bathija from AU says "Let’s hope pressure from Congress puts an end to what is hopefully one of the last of Bush’s ridiculous “faith-based” schemes."
Advocates of this regulation, of course most coming from religiously-based organizations, are painting this as an anti-discrimination measure - ensuring that people who oppose contraceptives and abortion do not have to go against their religion in order to work for a hospital or health care entity. The report cites to “numerous cases in which health-care workers had to violate their consciences by providing birth control pills and other controversial medicine and conducting controversial procedures.
This concern over discrimination and religious liberty is the Religious Right’s continual strategy to push its very narrow viewpoint on the rest of the country. But this time it is quite clear, even to medical experts and scientists, where this regulation stems from.