Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Some Bad News ... But Not Surprising

Today, Bush has employed an old conservative trick. He wants to require a certification that won't "discriminate" against doctors, hospitals, or nurses that refuse to provide birth control or abortions. From the NYTimes story:
In the proposal, obtained by The New York Times, the administration says it could cut off federal aid to individuals or entities that discriminate against people who object to abortion on the basis of “religious beliefs or moral convictions.”
But the real fear, according to Cristina Page, is that the Bush administration is redefining birth control as abortion in official Health and Human Services policy:
With this proposal, however, HHS is dismissing medical experts and opting instead to accept a definition of pregnancy based on polling data. It now claims that pregnancy begins at some biologically unknowable moment (there's no test to determine if a woman's egg has been fertilized). Under these new standards there would be no way for a woman to prove she's not pregnant. Thus, any woman could be denied contraception under HHS' new science.

The other rarely discussed issue here is whether hormonal contraception even does what the religious right claims. There is no scientific evidence that hormonal methods of birth control can prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb. This argument is the basis upon which the religious right hopes to include the 40% of the birth control methods Americans use, such as the pill, the patch, the shot, the ring, the IUD, and emergency contraception, under the classification "abortion."
Update: I have more over at pushback.

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