Below is The Family Foundation of Virginia's official statement, released this week, to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services regarding its consideration of ending regulations that protect the ethical standards and consciences of medical professionals. HHS is seeking public comments on the proposed rollback through today. For information on how to e-mail HHS, click here. 

Official Statement By The Family Foundation of Virginia to the Department of Health and Human Services Regarding Medical Professionals Conscience Protection Regulations

The Family Foundation of Virginia, the Commonwealth's oldest and largest pro-family advocacy organization, urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to leave in place the current regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. These regulations are needed due to protect the conscience rights of America's health care workers from increased efforts to force these care givers to violate their personal ethics. The area of discrimination that has increased the most involves the issue of the sanctity of human life. 

Examples of this assault include national medical organizations that oppose conscience rights in the area of abortion. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) issued certification requirements last year that could lead to discrimination against obstetricians or gynecologists because they tie their certification requirements to pro-abortion principles adapted by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). If an obstetrician or gynecologist disagrees with ACOG's ethical stance, he or she could face decertification by ABOG. In other words, a highly skilled health care worker could lose their ability to treat patients simply because of their ethical stance against abortion. Another example involves medical organizations that would force pharmacists to dispense drugs, such as emergency contraception, that they find unethical because the drug can lead to the destruction of a human embryo by preventing implantation. 

Otherwise qualified health care workers should not be treated as second-class citizens simply because of their personal ethics. Health care professionals should not be forced to violate their consciences simply to fulfill the politically motivated demands of others. Therefore, we urge you to keep these protections in place.