For decades, the Family Research Council has — for ideological reasons — used various backdoor methods to place American couples at increased risk for untimely pregnancy and abortion.
One such method was a Bush Administration health-care “conscience” clause which allowed ideologically biased health-care workers to violate the ethical standards of their profession — and their employer — by withholding information and services that would give patients alternatives to pregnancy and abortion.
FRC, a cheerleader for that denial-of-service clause, believed that the amorality or immorality of a health-care worker — rationalized with flimsy references to religion — should trump the ability of a patient to make fully informed decisions.
The Obama administration is moving swiftly to stop FRC’s government-backed attack against patient education and informed decisionmaking.
CNN quotes a federal official regarding the policy reversal:
“We recognize and understand that some providers have objections to providing abortions, according to an official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The official declined to be identified because the policy change had not been announced. “We want to ensure that current law protects them.
“But we do not want to impose new limitations on services that would allow providers to refuse to provide to women and their families services like family planning and contraception that would actually help prevent the need for an abortion in the first place.”
Tony Perkins of FRC cynically responded:
“President’s Obama’s intention to change the language of these protections would result in the government becoming the conscience and not the individual. It is a person’s right to exercise their moral judgment, not the government’s to decide it for them.”
Quite the opposite is true: The policy change halts efforts by government and church ideologues — acting on behalf of FRC — to deny a patient’s right to full knowledge of their health status and moral choices. Patient health decisions must be fully informed and must be made by the patient — not by a fundamentalist health care worker, and certainly not by Tony Perkins.