NPR has a story today, Bush’s Last-Minute ‘Conscience’ Rules Cause Furor. It states, “Health care workers, hospitals and even entire insurance companies could decline to perform, refer or pay for abortion or any other health care practice that violates a ‘religious belief or moral conviction’ under new rules issued by the outgoing Bush administration.”
Now that’s truly pro-choice: allowing health care practitioners to decide for themselves if they want to perform or recommend an abortion. But, for some reason, those who claim to wear the mantle of “choice” do not agree with this.
I’m actually liking Bush’s last-minute decisions. He’s allowing drilling in Utah. “Oh, but it’s raping our environment!” Please. Environmentalists say the same about drilling in ANWR, even though that would involve less than 1% of the wildlife refuge.
Bush is also rolling back some regulations. I’m not against all regulations, but it would be nice to lessen the burden of the unnecessary ones.
And here’s the good part: Obama won’t be able to overturn all of this. Or he’ll have to make an actual effort if he wants to do so.
George W. Bush: leaving his mark before he goes.
Oh, the health care providers do have a choice. They can decide to be health care providers or not. Once they make that decision, they have an obliation to give the best care – without their personal feelings and opinions getting involved.
What’s next? Linemen deciding not to climb poles because they don’t like heights? Taking a job as a C programmer then insisting on using Java?
If you can’t fulfill the job requirements, find something else to do.
Russ makes an interesting point. Another analogy that came to mind was those in the military. What if suddenly they decided who they were and weren’t going to fight or what missions they weren’t going to go on because they violated their conscience. What they are called to do in the military is their job and their unquestioning loyalty and commitment to their superiors and the missions they’re given is the key to a strong, unified and effective military.
People have a choice though. They can either not join the military or refuse the orders they are given, but in each case they must be prepared to suffer the consequences. Doctors or hospitals to have a choice: they can choose to disobey the law (or even cease being doctors and hospitals) because of their conscience and in protest of the law but they must be prepared to suffer the consequences.
But the military does offer an option for people with religious or philosophical objections: conscientious objection. Plus, as far as the law goes, it now says that people don’t have to perform an abortion if they don’t want to. If a woman desperately wants an abortion, then she should call her local Planned Parenthood. It’s not as if the choice to have an abortion is being taken away by Bush’s decision.
But it is being taken away, at least in some circumstances. Say you’re a woman somewhere in rural South Dakota. You don’t have a whole lot of money (as is usually the case in rural areas like that). Your doctor (that you had to travel 200 miles to see) gives you a prescription for birth control. There’s only one drugstore in the town your doctor is in, and no other pharmacies for a hundred miles in any direction. And they refuse to fill the prescription on moral grounds.
What are you going to do then? Sure, you can drive another hundred miles for your prescription. But what if it’s the same pharmacy chain and there’s a corporate policy for refusing to provide birth control.
But wait, let’s get a little MORE extreme. Let’s say that you’re a woman in that same little town, and someone raped you. You have 48 hours to go and get emergency morning-after contraception, and you have the same problem. Not only have you just been raped, but no one’s going to help you not have the baby that the rapist may have given you.
The scenarios I stated above have everything to do with providing substandard health care because the pharmacists refuse to do their job. And it’s unacceptable.
And I’m not being hyperbolic. These are ALREADY happening.
I was thinking more about people who join the military and then have problems with particular scenarios or missions.
Personally I have no problem with doctors or hospitals being allowed to have that choice and in fact I prefer it.
Also if we are going to bring in the special cases of people in rural towns that need birth control or who have been raped I think we ought to look at the statistics. I mean if it is something like less than 1% will be effected by this law then honestly it doesn’t seem like it is a significant enough amount that should be used in determining whether every doctor should lose this choice or not.
And if only 1% of women have an abortion, is that a small enough number that it doesn’t matter?