HHS Thinks That Contraception Is Abortion
Posted by crustyriotgrrl on August 26, 2008
The draft regulation, prepared by the Bush Administration and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and currently circulating among anti-women officials, redefines abortion as, “any of the various procedures — including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action — that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.” Taking a page from the extremist right, they are deliberately blurring the lines between contraception and abortion, providing an extraordinarily broad definition of abortion that could be interpreted to cover various forms of birth control, including oral contraceptives, intrauterine devices (IUD’s), and emergency contraception.
This draft regulation requires entities and individuals that receive family planning funding to certify that they will not discriminate against people who object to abortion or to dispensing birth control on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Under the guise of passing anti-discrimination laws to protect health care providers participating in federal programs, the proposed regulation would effectively undermine a health care provider’s ability to offer the very services for which they are funded, as well as a patient’s ability to access those services. All health care providers must be able to appropriately screen and hire individuals capable and willing to perform the core services that they provide.
The regulation puts laws and policies that protect women’s access to birth control in serious jeopardy, including state laws that require hospitals to provide sexual-assault survivors with access to emergency contraception. The draft rule limiting Title X funding will create a direct conflict between Title X (America’s Family Planning Program) and the Maternal Child Health and Medicaid programs, which requires that grantees provide a broad range of contraceptive services and supplies to their patients.
Currently, there are “crisis pregnancy centers” in communities across the country that look like health care centers, but deliver woefully incomplete care and only provide the reproductive health care options that fit their agenda: NO birth control, NO abortion — and NO choice for women and families who need it! If Bush’s proposed regulation takes effect, these “crisis pregnancy centers” are likely to receive a massive influx of our tax dollars.
At a time when 17 million women are in need of publicly-supported reproductive health care services, this regulation disparately impacts the low-income, uninsured and under-insured women who rely on these programs for their health information and services!
[Please visit the above link to let Secretary Mike Leavitt of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services know that you do not aprove of this legislation by commenting his blog and signing the petition!]