Americans United for Life Applauds Adoption of HHS Rules Protecting Freedom of Conscience, Urges Vigilance in Protecting Both Providers and Healthcare Access

Thursday, December 18, 2008 General News J E 4

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 Americans United for Life (AUL) praises the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for today adopting new rules protecting the freedom of conscience of American healthcare providers.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President and CEO, said, "These new rules protect healthcare providers, allowing them to practice medicine in accord with their professional and personal ethics, and reaffirms the founding principles of this nation, particularly the right to be free from coercion of action or conscience."

The new rules require recipients of federal funding through HHS to certify that they are complying with existing federal laws that protect healthcare providers from coercion, discrimination, or negative job consequences for refusing to participate in certain conflict-ridden procedures such as abortion.

Denise Burke, AUL Vice President of Legal Affairs, added, "Comprehensive conscience protections and proper enforcement of existing federal and state laws will help mitigate the current medical crisis in our country, especially the shortage of qualified providers. We urge state lawmakers to follow the example of HHS in ensuring both protection for conscience and access to healthcare services."

In September 2008, AUL submitted written comments to HHS in support of the new rule. Those comments are available at

About Americans United for Life

Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS' Frontline program chronicled AUL's successful efforts in Mississippi.

SOURCE Americans United For Life


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