I am writing to oppose the so-called "conscience" rule recently submitted by Secretary Leavitt. This regulation poses a serious threat to women's health care by limiting the rights of patients to receive complete and accurate health information and services.
At a time when more and more families are uninsured and under economic assault, we find our health care system is in crisis and our president taking steps to deny access to basic care. Women's ability to manage their own health care is at risk of being compromised by politics and ideology.
No individual shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity funded in whole or in part under a program administered by the Secretary of Health and Human Services if his performance or assistance in the performance of such part of such program or activity would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.
Nothing contained in this title [sections 451 to 471a of this Appendix] shall be construed to require any person to be subject to combatant training and service in the armed forces of the United States who, by reason of religious training and belief, is conscientiously opposed to participation in war in any form. As used in this subsection, the term “religious training and belief” does not include essentially political, sociological, or philosophical views, or a merely personal moral code. ^
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