The USCCB is reporting that President Obama has promised to support conscience clauses in health care facilities. There had been concern that conscience clauses that exist would have been eliminated with the current administration, putting thousands of Catholic health care providers in positions of having to quit their jobs, or being forced to participate in morally objectionable practices. Catholic hospitals would have been faced with closure decisions if such clauses were to have been stripped.
Log on to www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-116.shtml for the report. I would offer you a quote from that page:
“I am grateful for President Obama’s statement on May 17 that we should all ‘honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,’ and his support for conscience clauses advancing this goal.
“Since 1973, federal law protecting the conscience rights of health care providers have been an important part of our American civil rights tradition. These laws should be fully implemented and enforced. Caring health professionals and institutions should know that their deeply held religious or moral convictions will be respected as they exercise their right to serve patients in need……Catholic providers, in particular, make a large and essential contribution to heath care in our society. Essential steps to protect these conscience rights will strengthen our health care system and enhance many patients’ access to necessary life-affirming care.” — Cardinal Francis George