I posted last week about the Bush Administration's new rules regarding the conservative creation known as the "right to conscience" (basically, the right to violate, with impunity, basic medical principles if medical professionals say a procedure goes against their personal values). While the discussion is focused on abortion and contraception, Tammy Baldwin is saying that the rules are broader:
"The refusal clause goes beyond women's health and a woman's right to an abortion or birth control," said openly lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.
"Under the new regulations, a doctor may also refuse to treat a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person. Medical care must be based on science and the patients' best interest, not the providers' religious, political, or other philosophical views."
These regulations could impair LGBT patients' access to care services if interpreted to permit providers to choose patients based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or family structure. In addition, under these regulations a provider might be able to refuse to administer an HIV test to a gay patient, and even be exempt from the statutory duty to tell the patient where else he could receive the test. Under the regulation, a pharmacist could refuse to fill a prescription for hormone therapy if she has religious objection to transgender people.
The scope of the new rules isn't clear and would have to be tested in court, I suppose, before known.
Obviously, Bush doesn't give a fuck about a doctor's "right to conscience." If he did, this would have been enacted 8 years ago.
What he does care about is setting up a large victory for the Religious Right that Obama (and Obama specifically) is going to have to overturn once he gets into office. I'm fairly confident that Obama's DHHS will throw out the absurd idea that a doctor can get paid for only doing parts of their job that they agree with and still get a full paycheck for their work.
Those folks, though, think that abortion is the new Holocaust, that contraception is akin to infanticide, that gay men are sluts who are asking for whatever comes their way, that being transgender is a mental disorder best kept in a hospital, and that artificial insemination of a lesbian is child abuse. They aren't moderates and they want doctors to have the right to refuse treatment at will, and they want their organizations funded by the government as much as (or more than) organizations that provide medical care to everyone.
And they don't care about anything as much as pushing their "non-negotiable" agenda in the "culture war."
And Obama thinks that inviting the global-warming guy to the inauguration is going to bring these folks to the table? Puh-leeze.
Democrats have been bending each and every way to bring white evangelicals back into the party since '92, and all they've gotten for their efforts is smear jobs in the press, campaigns that call them wimps, and a silly impeachment. If Obama wants to embolden them, he can go right ahead. But after he overturns the DHHS rules, they're going to go right back to their "Obama supports infanticide" meme and work against him as if he were Hitler.