A federal regulation with a “right of conscience” provision allowing medical professionals to refuse to participate in treatments they oppose morally is set to be finalized by Bush administration officials this week. But it looks like the rule will be short-lived.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that members of the Obama transition team are taking a hard look at that and other regulations that could have an effect on reproductive rights issues, with an eye on reversing them once the president-elect is in office. The rule set to go into effect this week would allow health workers to opt out of performing some services including providing birth control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
The rules that could be affected range from budgetary allocations to regulations and executive orders.
One of the first actions in this arena by the incoming president will be lifting an executive order limiting federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Another rule on the chopping block could be the so-called “global gag rule,” which prevents foreign organizations receiving federal funding from spending anything on family planning services that include abortion services or advocacy.