Proposed Bush Regulations Jeopardize Women’s Health

July 16, 2008 12:00 am

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ACLU denounces parting salvo by Bush administrationWashington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its outrage at draft regulations proposed by the Bush administration that could jeopardize access to basic health care for millions of American women, and possibly compel women’s health clinics to hire individuals unwilling to perform everyday job duties.

As currently drafted, the regulations could:

  • Allow federally funded healthcare professionals and institutions to refuse to provide reproductive health services, including some of the most common forms of birth control.
  • Undermine existing state laws that protect women’s access to birth control.
  • Define abortion to include many of the most common forms of contraception.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“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. 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.

“In recent years, states across the country have passed laws that protect women’s ability to get birth control from their local pharmacies and ensure that insurance plans cannot discriminate against women by refusing to cover contraceptives. Under the guise of ‘religious freedom,’ the Bush regulations are designed to create a loophole that would allow pharmacies and insurance plans to deny women access to contraception.

“The proposed Bush regulations put politics above the health care needs of Americans. 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 access to important health services, not interfering in programs that have successfully provided services for years.”

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