May 25, 2018
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Obama Administration to eliminate protections for health care workers

April 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
Kristina Arriaga
cell 703.582.8962
The Becket Fund
Obama Administration to eliminate protections for health care workers

Washington, D.C. Today (April 9) is the last day for the public to submit comments on an Obama Administration proposal to eliminate a regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care workers.  The regulations, which went into effect on January 20, protect the rights of health care workers who want to opt out of performing procedures or dispensing medications that would violate their conscience.
"Protections for conscience are older than the Constitution and are widely recognized in state, federal, and international law," said Luke Goodrich, legal counsel at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.  "Rescinding the conscience regulation will remove crucial safeguards for health care workers and will force qualified individuals out of the profession solely because of their religious beliefs."
The Becket Fund submitted a response today  which carefully detailed the history of conscientious objection and the legal and historical support for the right of conscience in the health care profession.
"Just as pacifists should not be forced to go to war, and prison doctors should not be forced to administer lethal injections, health care workers should not be forced to participate in procedures that violate their deeply held religious beliefs," said Goodrich. 
The Becket Fund takes no position on the morality of any particular medical procedure (whether abortion, sterilization, contraception, stem-cell research, or euthanasia), though the morality of such procedures is a profoundly important question.  Rather, The Becket Fund focuses on a single issue:  the basic human right of every individual to follow his or her conscience. 
The Becket Fund is a nonprofit, nonparti­san, public interest law firm dedicated to pro­tecting the free expression of all religious traditions.  It has successfully represented clients from a wide variety of religious traditions-including Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians-in religious liberty litigation around the world.

For links to the Obama recission proposal and Becket Fund response go to

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