Friday, February 27, 2009

Choice Has Come to America

When the Clinton administration left the White House, they took the "W" keys from their keyboards with them. When the Bush administration left office, they tried to carry our right to choose out the door. Thankfully, the Obama administration is doing its best to recover what was stolen from us.

In December, the Bush administration passed new, sweeping changes to the so-called "conscience" rules. The idea behind the conscience ruling is to protect people in the health care industry from providing services that go against their personal ethics, meaning mostly abortions and birth-control pills to women.

If you grew up in a city, you might not think this is such a big deal. If one pharmacist won't serve you, there's always another one around the corner. But for women in rural settings, "conscience" rules are a major problem. In states like Montana, a woman may drive for 80 miles just to find a pharmacy that will honor her legal prescription.

To make things worse, the new rules established by the Bush administration cover a broad category of health services. In fact, the rule is so vague that it could be used to deny all family-planning counseling services, blood transfusions, and end-of-life care.

Moment of Rant: When your doctor writes a prescription, you should be able to get it filled. Period. When you and your doctor decide on a course of action for your body, you should have the right to follow it. Period.

Thankfully, President Obama agrees with me, and that's why his team is working on rescinding the conscience rule. Sanity and choice are on their way back.