The Department of Health and Human Services, covered in glory and ketchup that it says symbolizes the spilled blood of aborted babies, is back with new conscience clause rules that would bar federal money from health care providers that didn't allow their employees to deny healthcare they found morally offensive.
The Department of Health and Human Services is reviewing a draft regulation that would deny federal funding to any hospital, clinic, health plan or other entity that does not accommodate employees who want to opt out of participating in care that runs counter to their personal convictions, including providing birth-control pills, IUDs and the Plan B emergency contraceptive.
Conservative groups, abortion opponents and some members of Congress are welcoming the initiative as necessary to safeguard doctors, nurses and other health workers who, they say, are increasingly facing discrimination because of their beliefs or are being coerced into delivering services they find repugnant.
Oddly, there are no provisions protecting the consciences of people who think that the aforementioned people are dumbasses and the people making this policy are allowing people's healthcare to be dictated by the luck of the draw when it comes to whether or not their doctor/nurse/pharmacist is a misinformed, judgmental asshole who thinks that Depo Provera is an abortion in a needle. The other question is: when you start declaring certain forms of healthcare denial are protected based on conscience (and at risk of defunding), what's to stop anyone from declaring that their denials, too, are based on conscience? I would rather give this liver to a Christian than an atheist - my conscience dictates it! I would rather not perform a CT scan on this addict - my conscience dictates it! When the federal government starts declaring that the paramount concern in healthcare is the comfort of the provider rather than the patient, the first thing I think about is what would have happened if I'd been female and gotten my appendectomy. Suppose that I was on BC, and needed my pill for the day that I was in the hospital, and had a nurse refuse to either obtain or help me obtain a legal and potentially necessary course of pharmaceuticals while I was hooked into an IV and barely able to walk. That veers away from conscience and directly towards abuse.
There's also the Big Brother aspect of it. HHS is opening up a direct line that allows them to federally dictate virtually any course of healthcare over the objections of healthcare providers and mores of science. You'd think that the conscience crew, many of whom belong to the line of thought that declares the government is an entity primarily focused on taking your guns, money and angel-sitting-on-turtle lawn statues, would be a little nervous at the idea that the government wants to come in and tell them exactly how they can do their jobs and levy destructive punishments upon them. Of course, these people are also largely hackishly motivated morons who just want the attention and approval for shaming sluts and saving zygotes.
UPDATE: Contact HHS here.