Imperative Applauds Obama Administration’s
Plan to Repeal HHS “Conscience” Rule
The Black Women’s Health Imperative (Imperative) commends the Obama administration for taking action to rescind the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) provider refusal or “conscience” rule. Issued in the final days of the Bush administration, this harmful regulation, driven more by ideology than out of concern for patients, seriously undermines women’s access to health care services and information.
The “conscience” rule establishes new protection for health care providers receiving federal funds who refuse to provide medical services they find objectionable, either on religious or moral grounds. Far reaching in its scope, the rule allows health care providers to deny patients access to a wide range of health care options including contraception, abortion, prenatal screenings and family planning information and counseling.
“The Obama administration’s move to repeal this harmful rule is a step in the right direction," said Eleanor Hinton Hoytt, president and CEO of the Imperative. “Too many women, especially Black and low-income women, already encounter barriers when accessing medical care and treatment. This rule further limits our options and violates our right to medical care.”
The Imperative will continue to work with other women’s health advocates in supporting the Obama administration’s commitment to ensuring the rights of all patients to have access to a complete range of medical services and information.