(PRESS RELEASE) Today, the Obama administration partially rescinded and replaced Department of Health and Human Services regulations on healthcare refusals. The new rules replace the controversial 11th hour Bush-era regulations. As we testified earlier this week, laws currently proposed and moving through the House would allow refusals even in emergency situations, threatening women’s lives. The House today also voted to deny all funding to critical healthcare provider Planned Parenthood. Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights, issued this response:
“The Obama administration’s revision of a Bush-era rule on refusals to provide care by religiously affiliated doctors and hospitals is a breath of fresh air in a week full of ugly sentiments about women’s health from Congress. The rule strips the most objectionable provisions from the Bush regulation. It drops burdensome and pointless certification requirements, and restores clarity to the scope of the statutes already on the books that permit refusals.
“This welcome result is an effective rebuke to claims made by anti-choice witnesses in the hearings last week in the House. It underscores the fact that refusals are widely tolerated–even supported–by current law. There is no reason for the Congress to risk women’s lives and health by enacting a new provision that would allow denials of care in an emergency.
“This good news was dampened, however, by the vote in the House this afternoon to strip Planned Parenthood of the support it needs to continue providing needed healthcare to millions of women and families across the U.S. This shameful act by a vituperative House majority must be stopped in the Senate, where we hope thehealthcare needs of women will get a far fairer hearing. The members of the House who voted for this punitive measure should be ashamed to face their mothers and daughters.”