January 16th, 2009
11:05 AM ET
12 years ago

Lawsuits filed over Bush health-care workers regulation

(CNN) - Seven states and two organizations have sued the Bush administration in an attempt to block a federal regulation that would protect health-care workers who refuse to perform abortions or other medical procedures because of religious or moral reasons.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island.

Blumenthal said the regulation would put women's health care at risk and would undercut state contraception laws.

"On its way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking legal time bomb set to explode literally the day of the inaugural and blow apart vital constitutional rights and women's health care," Blumenthal said in a written statement. "Women's health may be endangered - needlessly and unlawfully - if this rule is allowed to stand."

The Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the American Civil Liberties Union, which was acting on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, also filed separate suits Thursday.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Jill

    insanity: "It's not about moral choice, it's about duty which he/she was sworn to perform. If abortion is legal, then a doctor MUST be legally responsible to perform procedure."

    Pot, meet kettle. If a doctor actually followed the hippocratic oath he/she was sworn to perform by, killing unborn children would be out of the question, legal or not. Unfortunately only those who can speak are allowed to have rights in this country.

    January 16, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. R Cross

    The moral morons are at it again.

    January 16, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  3. Tim

    Most jobs do not require degrees in theology, but every job requires moral judgments. Should accountants help their clients evade taxes? Or just avoid them? Should lawyers help people break laws, or bend them, or follow them? Is it alright for a teacher to have sex with a student if there is no law against it?

    Human beings cannot check their moral judgments at the door when they get to the office, the hospital, the train station, whatever. That's what the Nazis did. If everyone who is morally opposed to abortion is disqualified from holding a job in the health care field for that reason alone, then we should prepare for anti-abortion ghettos.

    January 16, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  4. Tim

    Only in a democrats feeble mind and black heart would it be ok to force someone to perform an abortion.

    January 16, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  5. aware

    "Protect the least of these" or pay the consequences!

    Technology has caught up with abortion rights! A fetus is a living baby until you kill it! 🙁

    January 16, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. chuck


    January 16, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  7. Maxim

    we need more abortions to control the over-growing population of the planet!

    January 16, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  8. double standard

    It's not about religion. As a woman it sickens me to hear other woman screaming about my rights my rights. What about the childs rights? If a doctor does not want to perform an abortion because he thinks it is immoral then find another doctor.....What are you going to do duct tape the scapel to his hand and force him to.
    Liberals always take this to the extreme....well if the woman comes into the ER and her life is in danger blah blah. I'm pretty sure every doc in the place would be there to help trust me i work with them every day. Then the article throws in the the whole I'm going to take your contraception away......please give me a break. And liberals say we fearmonger!

    January 16, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  9. New Yorker

    Jodi and others who say a doctor shouldn't be in the medical field if he/she doesn't want t perform an abortion, do you realize many/most
    doctors choose the profession to save life not DESTROY it? God forbid the day when we only have doctors who are willing to perform abortions. Read this portion of the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath – "I will neither prescribe nor administer a lethal dose of medicine to any patient even if asked nor counsel any such thing nor perform the utmost respect for every human life from fertilization to natural death and reject abortion that deliberately takes a unique human life. " This is the oath doctors swear to, the last I knew.

    January 16, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. AnaB

    @ New Yorker:

    Sorry, but it WAS something I needed not wanted. I didn't want to have an ovary removed at 13, suffer years of cysts and endometriosis, barely able to carry my children to term after years of trying to get pregnant only to end up having a hysterectomy at 33.

    If you would have read my comments, I was not talking about abortion, I was talking about my right to reproductive health.

    Sorry if this gets posted twice, but CNN doesn't seem to want to post my other comment, PLEASE POST THIS ONE!!

    January 16, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. Matt

    Hypocrites. What happened to the GOP blathering about the government staying out of the free market? If they believe it so much, then let the market determine whether doctors can refuse certain services. Once they get prosecuted for manslaughter for failing to save a mother's life or have their entire lives and practices collapsed by a couple malpractice suits, the malpractice insurance companies will raise premiums for doctors who refuse certain services and, hopefully, that will either teach them their lesson or make it not worth their while to become doctors who try to make their patients abide by their personal beliefs. And hey, we should be allowed to revoke the license of any physician who breaks their oath...it doesn't have any special conditional clauses in it.

    January 16, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  12. Mike

    As other people have already mentioned: clinical workers are already allowed to opt out of procedures that they find morally objectionable, provided that they find a suitable substitute.

    For those who are blaming the "liberal states", here's a newsflash for you. Liberal states such as NY and CA and CT have plenty of doctors willing to provide controversial services. It's those of you in more rural and "conservative" states that have cause to be concerned. Where are you going to go if your doctor refuses to provide you treatment, and the next closest doctor is 30 miles away?

    What if you want psychological treatment or pharmaceuticals? What about drug and alcohol treatment? What if you want to have elective surgeries? What if you want Viagra? Your doctor will be perfectly capable of refusing you these treatments on "moral" grounds.

    This is not about abortion or RU-486 anymore. This is about ALL treatments.

    January 16, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  13. Matt

    @ New Yorker

    Check the current Declaration of Geneva from the WMO. The abortion, conception and fertilization blabber has been removed from the modern version (2006). It has also been removed from the majority of Hippocratic Oaths administered around the country, which use a version written by the former dean of Tufts School of Biomedicine. Moreover, on a practical level, Hippocrates' reference to a "plessary for abortion" refers to a device that often led to infection and death of the mother, not just the child.

    January 16, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  14. Jodi K from MN

    New Yorker

    I did not say a doctor should not be a doctor if they do not want to perform abortions, I said they should stay out of the medical field if their morality will prevent them from performing womens health services, or at least stay out of a field where it becomes an issue.

    is there any reason someone who objects to abortion needs to work at an abortion clinic? Is there any reason someone who objects to womens health should work in a n OB office? No there is not. If you object to anything that has to do with a woman controlling her reproductive system go DO SOMETHING ELSE! Be a podiatrist or a childrens health specialist. Be a ear, nose and throat doctor, just stay away from my rights to control my own body.

    What you do not seem to understand New Yorker, is that there are already rules protecting a doctor from being forced from doing an abortion, now you are talking about a doctor being allowed to refuse heath care for ANY moral objection. Your doc doesn't like homosexuality, he can refuse to treat a gay person. He doesnt like immunizations? He can legally tell you not to get them for your kids without recommending you to someone who will.

    You pro life people are SO blinded by your hatred for equality that you refuse to see when its gone too far. This is NOT about abortion, this is about my right to get acceptable heath care without prejudice

    January 16, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  15. Dont blame me

    It is a shame that the parents of these liberals didn't all have abortions, then this would no longer be a problem.

    January 16, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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