I Never Should Have Gotten out of Bed This Morning

The HHS Rule Change that puts women's access to basic healthcare in jeopardy by allowing providers, based on their personal biases, to withhold both services and information women need to make fully informed decisions about their healthcare, has officially been made by the Bush administration, as of today, and will go into effect in 30 days.
The Bush administration today issued a sweeping new regulation that protects a broad range of health-care workers -- from doctors to janitors -- who refuse to participate in providing services that they believe violate their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The controversial rule empowers federal health officials to cut off federal funding for any state or local government, hospital, clinic, health plan, doctor's office or other entity if it does not accommodate employees who exercise their "right of conscience." It would apply to more than 584,000 health-care facilities.

…Women's health advocates, family planning proponents, abortion rights activists, members of Congress and others condemned the regulation, saying it would create major obstacles to a variety of health services, including abortion, family planning, end-of-life care and possibly a wide range of scientific research.
The rule itself is so broad that it opens the door for a whole range of terrifying possibilities: EMTs who refuse to treat gay and transgender people, entire hospitals that refuse to dispense emergency contraception, emergency room staff who refuse to save the life of drunk drivers…

It's a clusterfucktastrophe. It's also eight billion lawsuits waiting to happen—but many of them will arise because people have died after being denied treatment.

As previously mentioned, Senators Clinton and Murray had introduced legislation to try to stop the rule change, which presumably will now be altered to try to undo the rule change.

I don't know what else to say. I'm utterly heartsick.

[Previously on on the HHS Rule Change: One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight.]

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