PRESS RELEASE: Catholics United Statement on Obama Administration's New Conscience Protection Rule

Posted February 18, 2011

Washington DC – Catholics United executive director Chris Korzen issued the following statement today in response to the Obama Administration's announcement of new regulations protecting the conscience rights of health providers and allowing patients to access the care they need.

“The Administration's new policy is the fruit of a genuine effort to strike a balance between the rights of patients and providers. President Obama believes health care workers should never be compelled to perform abortions, and the new regulations reflect this conviction. In replacing the earlier rule – which could allow caregivers to refuse to participate in even the most basic essential medical procedures – the president has also reinstated essential patient protections.”

“In addition, we welcome the new rule's education and enforcement provisions, and the Administration's decision to allow individual states to determine whether they wish to extend provider conscience protections to procedures other than abortion.”

“Unfortunately, anti-Obama forces in the Catholic and broader faith communities are already using today's announcement as another opportunity to score cheap political points and portray the president as hostile to religious interests. We hope more reasonable voices will prevail.”