WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Obama administration plans to reverse a regulation from late in the Bush administration allowing health-care workers to refuse to provide services based on moral objections, an official said Friday.
The Provider Refusal Rule was proposed by the Bush White House in August and enacted on January 20, the day President Barack Obama took office.
It expanded on a 30-year-old law establishing a "conscience clause" for "health-care professionals who don't want to perform abortions."
Under the rule, workers in health-care settings - from doctors to janitors - can refuse to provide services, information or advice to patients on subjects such as contraception, family planning, blood transfusions and even vaccine counseling if they are morally against it.
"We recognize and understand that some providers have objections to providing abortions, according to an official at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The official declined to be identified because the policy change had not been announced. "We want to ensure that current law protects them.
"But we do not want to impose new limitations on services that would allow providers to refuse to provide to women and their families services like family planning and contraception that would actually help prevent the need for an abortion in the first place."