ACLU condemns parting salvo by Bush administration
WASHINGTON -- The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its grave concern over the proposed regulations released today by the Department of Health and Human Services that could seriously undermine women’s ability to access reproductive health services, including birth control.
“It’s deeply troubling and unfortunate that President Bush should fire this parting shot at women’s access to basic health care in the waning days of his administration,” said Vania Leveille, ACLU Legislative Counsel. “Time and time again, he has put political and ideological concerns above the best interests of the American people, and this is yet another example.
“We continue to be very concerned about the scope and impact of this proposed rule. It leaves open the possibility that institutions and individuals can deny access to birth control and permits individuals to refuse to provide even counseling about basic heath care services.”
Continued Louise Melling, Director, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, “For years, federal law has carefully balanced protections for individual religious liberty and patients’ access to reproductive health care. The proposed regulations appear to take patients’ health needs out of the equation.
“At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding, not hampering access to important health services."