The Fight to Preserve Conscience Laws

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 5/19/2009 5:00:00 AM Medical professionals are trying to protect conscience rules implemented by the Bush administration.

Those rules allow doctors and pharmacists to decline to perform services on the basis of religious beliefs or ethics. Dr. David Stevens of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations says the Obama administration intends to withdraw the rules. He points to comments by President Obama during his speech on Sunday at Notre Dame.

"The president says he going to honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion and draft a sensible conscience clause. We already have a conscience clause, so I don't know what he's trying to say," Stevens admits. "The Church Amendment, The Public Health Act, the Weldon Amendment all have very clear conscience laws in them. Unfortunately they're not being enforced."

According to Stevens, up to a fourth of medical personnel say they have been discriminated against because of their religious views in areas such as abortion.

"What we need is for this administration to let the common-sense regulations that were put in place stand, and then we can move forward with patients knowing they're going to have a doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional they need when they have a healthcare problem," he adds.

Stevens is hopeful the public will continue to contact the White House urging retention and enforcement of the current rules.