The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services today issued a regulation that considerably strengthens the rights of health care workers to practice according to their conscience; it affects those who work in federally funded health care institutions.

Catholic League president Bill Donohue applauds the decision:

“This regulation builds on the conscience rights for health care workers that was first broached in the 1970s by the Church Amendments, and later enhanced in 1996 by the Congress. It gives these men and women the right to be free from discriminatory edicts invoked by those who have no respect for their conscience rights. No one in the health care field should ever be compelled by law to perform or assist in a procedure that violates his or her conscience. This should be an elementary right, yet there are those who want to trespass on it.

“It is imperative that President-elect Obama resist the appeal of pro-abortion extremists to overturn this regulation. These fanatics would literally force objecting Catholics, and others, to perform abortions and other morally objectionable procedures, if they could. Consistent with the prudence he has shown so far, Obama would be wise to ignore the zealots and allow today’s regulation to stand.”

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