Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Action Alert: Help Rescind the Bush Conscience Clause Rule

Last September, the Secular Coalition for America and our supporters lobbied the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect our rights to medical services from religious objectors by withdrawing the so-called "conscience clause” rule proposal. Now, as the Obama Administration attempts to rescind this rule that inappropriately places the religious beliefs of health care workers above the medical needs of their patients, we need your help.

Tell Obama’s Acting Director of Health and Human Services--Charles E. Johnson--that it is unethical for our government to encourage health care workers to deny important medical information and services to patients based on the perceived needs of a worker's religious beliefs. Moreover, it would be irresponsible for the government to permit religiously motivated workers receiving federal funds to compromise federal programs by refusing to carryout their responsibilities.

While the HHS has proposed to rescind the rule, it has also asked for comment "on whether the objectives of the ... rule might also be accomplished through non-regulatory means." Instead of trying to accomplish the same objectives through other means, urge Secretary Johnson to completely rescind the rule and not to attempt to find middle ground that placates religious conservatives.

Please take a moment to send a message to HHS Secretary Johnson telling him that you oppose the privilieging of religious beliefs over the rights of patients.