The really awful proposed rule that Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Levitt is trying to push through in his last few weeks of public service is expected to be finalized this week. The rule not only “protects” doctors and nurses who receive federal money from administering health care to women due to their “religious beliefs”–something that is already covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964–but also seeks to redefine birth control as abortion. That way, the rule protects a doctor if he or she refuses to administer an abortion or birth control.
Obama opposes the rule and is expected to reverse it once in office, but that process could take three to six months. What’s also interesting is that the rule was proposed after the deadline of June 1 was waived by the White House for reasons that still haven’t been specified. It seems that this is just a last-minute “fuck you” to women’s rights groups.
Cross posted at Pushback.