Friday, 22 Aug, 2008 Health & Fitness

New Federal Regulation to Consider Birth Control Pills an Abortion


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced plans to introduce new regulations that would make it more difficult for women to get access to common birth control. The changes are made to protect antiabortion healthcare workers from providing services that contradict their personal beliefs.

The controversial regulation was considered too broad to redefine abortion in terms of including commonly-used birth control pills, Plan B emergency contraception and other FDA-approved methods of contraception. Pharmacists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers will be allowed to withhold the information about such common methods of contraception without referring patients to elsewhere.

The radical rule is widely criticized by women's health advocates, family planning advocates and abortion rights activists who consider such regulation to impede family planning and scientific research. According to government's definition an abortion is anything that interferes with a fertilized egg after conception.

The regulations can limit all women's access to information and services related to contraception especially for low-income women.

Federal health officials announced the rule to cancel funding to more than 584,000 hospitals, clinics, health plans and others that do not accommodate workers, refusing to provide services that go against their personal, moral or religious beliefs.

The proposed regulation which could be implemented after a 30-day comment period will require more than $44 million and is said to enforce federal laws protecting health care providers from performing abortions and providing other services objectionable to their values.

Source: LA Times

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