-Obama administration is working to repeal DHHS regulation that prevents health care organizations that receive federal funds from firing or refusing to hire health care workers who refuse to dispense medical care for "moral" reasons. Still wishy-washy on actual "conscience" clauses which allow health care workers to refuse medical care in the first place. Important distinction: what is being repealed is the idea that a clinic that provides family planning services could fire someone who refuses to dispense birth control for their refusal. What is not being repealed is their supposed right to refuse care. This concept of conscience clauses and right to refuse care can and does apply to much more than reproductive health. Doctors could refuse to see or touch gay or trans patients, pharmacists could refuse to dispense medications to people who are transitioning, EMTs could withhold lifesaving measures from someone they found "repulsive" and claim conscience.

What I want to know is: what kind of conscience can rationalize refusing medical care, which in some cases is life saving and in almost all cases is necessary to some degree, on the basis of personally not wanting to encourage "immoral" behavior? What kind of conscience thinks that another person's health and LIFE is worth less than their ability to say they are "moral"? When did your right to a "clean" conscience trump the right of someone else to live? You have to think that this person in front of you has less of a right to live than you have to sleep at night. Its fucking psychotic. How dare you call yourself moral when you are willing to let people die for your conscience?

(rest of the rant is here
Open Letter to Senator Obama.

Dear sir,

Recently the Department of Health and Human Services has produced proposed regulations to prevent health care providers from “discriminating” against those health workers who refuse to issue certain standards of care by refusing to hire or disciplining them for not doing their job based on a “strong moral conviction” to not participate in anything that the individual workers deem as abortifacient regardless of medical fact. These regulations would not only make it illegal for health care providers receiving federal funds to insist that their employees do their jobs and make it so that the refusing healthcare professionals are given legal license to discriminate against patients based on sex, perceived gender, and supposed violations of their personal ethics, but would expand the definition of abortion to include some things that are clearly, scientifically not abortions, such as IUDs, certain types of hormonal birth control, and emergency contraception.

I would like to start with a quick logic/biology lesson. IUDs, hormonal birth control, and emergency contraception all fall under the technical heading of “contraception” which, by definition, prevents conception. The argument of when life begins (at conception, implantation, first movement felt in utero by the mother etc) is moot here because these methods prevent conception altogether. Abortion, by definition, requires conception to occur. Therefore, this set of regulations is conflating the prevention of pregnancy with the termination of pregnancy. This flies in the face of basic logic and biological/medical fact, unless American legislators would like to start declaring that each human ova is merely a person who is “pre-conception,” in which case every menses is akin to manslaughter. Even declaring that life begins at conception is problematic due to the fact that 60 to 80% of conceived zygotes are flushed from the body during menses, contraception or no.

I would also like to point out that contraception is prescribed for many things beyond simply preventing unwanted pregnancy, including endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome, both conditions that cause a great deal of pain and can lead to infertility as well as increase risks of certain cancers in women. Hormonal birth control alleviates many of the symptoms and can be prescribed as part of treatment for these conditions.

On to the original point of why I am writing this letter to you, Senator. Already your former opponent for the Democratic Presidential nomination has spoken out against these regulations as unduly and dangerously restrictive not only of women’s rights to proper healthcare, but to their rights to determine what to do with their own bodies. As a woman who voted for you in my state’s primary, I would like to respectfully ask: WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU? Why are you letting down the women who voted for you, the women who believed that you saw them as people? It seems that you are resting on your laurels as far as the concerns of the basic health and welfare of the women in this country because you have already presumably secured the nomination. Since you no longer have to compete for us with one of our own, we no longer make a difference to your campaign. Do you expect us to vote for you simply because the alternative is John McCain who thinks that women don’t matter at all? Are you going to expect us to take the crumbs you hand us and be grateful for the privilege of even being addressed? What about our strong moral conviction that we should be able to make medical choices that are actually to our benefit?

I am sorry sir, but your record thus far in this election with regards to me and other women in this country and our rights is spiraling the drain and spiraling fast. I am disappointed in you sir, and I am beginning to regret voting for you in the first place. This situation with the DHHS regulations is your chance to redeem yourself somewhat from your ridiculous “late term abortion” faux pas and actually prove that you see us and acknowledge us as being more than incubators. I really hope to hear more from you that the form letters that other concerned citizens have received from you regarding this issue.

I really hope that you don’t disappoint me again sir, or I may just give you the finger and vote Green come November.

One of your supporters with ovaries
Court Clears Way for Egg Rights Showdown
By P. SOLOMON BANDA – Nov 13, 2007

DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Supreme Court cleared the way Tuesday for an anti-abortion group to collect signatures for a ballot measure that would define a fertilized egg as a person.

The court approved the language of the proposal, rejecting a challenge from abortion-rights supporters who argued it was misleading and dealt with more than one subject in violation of the state constitution.

If approved by voters, the measure would give fertilized eggs the state constitutional protections of inalienable rights, justice and due process.

"Proponents of this initiative have publicly stated that the goal is to make all abortion illegal — but nothing in the language of the initiative or its title even mentions abortion," Kathryn Wittneben of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado said in a statement. "If that's not misleading, I don't know what is."

Wittneben and others said the measure would have would hamper in-vitro fertilization and stem cell research and would effectively ban birth control.

Proponents of the measure disagree.

"It doesn't outlaw abortion, it doesn't regulate birth control," said Kristi Burton, 20, of Colorado for Equal Rights. "It's just a constitutional principle. We're laying a foundation that every life deserves protection.

Burton said the initiative would simply define a human.

"It's very clearly a single subject," Burton said. "If it's a human being, it's a person, and hey, they deserve equal rights under our law."

Colorado for Equal Rights must collect 76,000 signatures to get the measure on the ballot. Supporters have six months to gather the necessary signatures — a deadline that began with the collection of the first signatures Tuesday, said Rich Coolidge, a spokesman for the secretary of state.

Anti-abortion activists said similar voter-led initiatives or legislative efforts are under way in five other states, including Montana, Georgia, Oregon, Michigan and South Carolina.

-------From feministing-----
To an egg. Due process. Huh.

Kathryn Wittneben of NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado said in a statement, "Proponents of this initiative have publicly stated that the goal is to make all abortion illegal — but nothing in the language of the initiative or its title even mentions abortion...If that's not misleading, I don't know what is."

She also puts forward some interesting hypotheticals: “Does this mean fertilized eggs can petition the courts to make it illegal to use the most effective forms of birth control if those contraceptive methods create an inhospitable uterine environment for fertilized eggs? Does this mean that a fertilized egg can sue a pregnant woman if she miscarries?" Litigious eggs!

Sounds funny, but anti-choicers are leading similar initiatives in five other states. Not funny.




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