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Giving 'Faith Based' a Bad Name

Saturday, July 19, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, July 18 According to an HHS memo leaked to the New York Times (July 15, Robert Pear), the Bush Administration wants to require that all hospitals and birth control clinics receiving federal health funds certify that they will not "discriminate" against nurses and other staff who object to contraception and birth control.



Contrast this proposed regulation with the Bush administration's insistence that religious providers of social services under the president's faith based initiative be allowed to discriminate in favor of those who share their religious beliefs.



In our view this is just the sort of hypocritical double-standard that gives faith-based initiatives a bad name. Are these efforts truly intended to broaden the delivery of essential government services, or are they a thinly-veiled cloak for the imposition of religious ideology in the public sphere? This trend is particularly troubling when it undermines public health science, because the health and lives of so many are on the line.



Commenting on this proposed regulation, Dr. Susan Wood, the former FDA scientist who raised concerns about political and ideological interference in the emergency contraception approval process, has pointed out the breath-taking scope of the draft regulation.



"The leaked draft regulation also broadens who is protected by this new regulation. Not just providers, but anyone involved in the process, from appointment schedulers to those who clean the instruments in a hospital, to the hospital itself all now can refuse to be involved with their job, with federal protection, if the facility or clinic provides contraception." (http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog/2008/07/17/war-contraception-and-science-going-strong)



We encourage you to editorialize on this important subject given the stakes involved.



James Wagoner

President

Advocates for Youth



(http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/washington/15rule.html?_r=2&ref=us&oref=slogin&oref=slogin)











SOURCE Advocates for Youth
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