/PRNewswire / -- Americans United for Life (AUL) today filed comments with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supporting the retention of a December 2008 rule providing a much-needed enforcement mechanism for federal laws protecting healthcare freedom of conscience.
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President & CEO stated, "Congress has a 36-year history of passing laws to protect healthcare freedom of conscience. This rule simply provides HHS and the Administration with the means to fulfill their sworn constitutional duty to properly enforce these laws."
On March 10, 2009, HHS announced its intention to rescind the rule enacted in the final months of the Bush Administration. The rule is opposed by pro-abortion groups, who included a demand for its repeal in a 55-page memorandum to the Obama Transition Team in December 2008--arguing it limits access to the full range of reproductive healthcare.
AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs Denise Burke remarked, "Comprehensive conscience protections and proper enforcement of existing federal laws will help ensure access to quality medical care for all Americans."
Burke continued, "While the majority of federal conscience laws are intended to protect those who decline to participate in abortions, some also protect those who choose to perform them. It is, therefore, incredibly short-sighted for abortion advocates to actively lobby against the enforcement of these protections."