By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

WASHINGTON, DC, April 9, 2009 ( – A poll commissioned by the Christian Medical Association (CMA) has shown that 87% of American adults surveyed said it is important to “make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections” and that 95% of Christian of physicians agreed with the statement, “I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience.”

The poll was taken in response to the Obama administration’s proposed rescinding of a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care professionals.

LifeSiteNews reported last month that the president has begun the process of repealing the regulations that had been passed by the Bush administration and that went into effect January 20. The regulations enforce pre-existing federal law that protects healthcare workers’ right to conscientiously refuse implementation of or involvement in abortions, including dispensation of the abortifacient morning-after pill. (See

Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association, warned that the Obama administration’s plan to scrap the conscience-protecting healthcare regulation is very unpopular and threatens to cut off patient access to healthcare professionals and institutions nationwide, especially imperiling the poor and medically underserved populations.

Dr. Stevens said in a press release, “Rescinding these regulations is dangerous for patients. They may soon find a sign hanging on the door of their doctor’s office or hospital stating, ‘Out of business—wouldn’t do abortions.'”

The CMA poll also found that fully 88% of American adults surveyed said it is either “very” or “somewhat” important to them that they enjoy a similar set of morals as their doctors, nurses and other healthcare providers.

Dr. Stevens noted, “Patients have a right to choose a healthcare professional who shares their moral views. No reasonable patient wants a doctor doing a procedure on them with which they are not only uncomfortable but morally opposed to.

“But this issue isn’t just about abortion,” Dr. Stevens continued. “Right of conscience will become increasingly important with other healthcare issues looming ahead – euthanasia, genetic engineering, human cloning and more.

“These (existing) regulations put teeth into the law and insure patients have the doctors and nurses they need. Removing them sends a clear message, ‘It is open season on healthcare professionals of conscience. Discriminate at will.'”

Dr. Stevens concluded that “If anyone should understand the ugliness of discrimination, it should be our first African American President. My prayer is that he will wake up to what is really going on and let these regulations stand.”

Link to full text of CMA Conscience Rights Poll:

Read previous coverage:

Pro-Life Leaders Respond to Obama’s Plan to Revoke Conscience Regulations

USCCB Calls on Obama Administration to Retain Health Services Regulation on Conscience Protection