By Peter J. Smith

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2008 ( – Planned Parenthood and its abortion allies are apoplectic over a new Bush Administration memo that defines abortifacient contraception as abortion and proposes regulations that would prevent individuals and entities receiving federal money from discriminating against pro-life health care providers.

The New York Times reported that the proposed regulations by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HSS) would make sure federal money would not go to “support morally coercive or discriminatory practices or policies in violation of federal law.”

The new rules would require hospitals, clinics, researchers, medical schools, and even state and local governments who receive funding under federal health care programs to guarantee they will not discriminate against hiring doctors, nurses, and other health care professionals who have moral objections to abortion and abortifacient birth control. (
  The memo defines abortion as “any of the various procedures – including the prescription, dispensing and administration of any drug or the performance of any procedure or any other action – that results in the termination of the life of a human being in utero between conception and natural birth, whether before or after implantation.”

Planned Parenthood has launched a frenzied campaign to quash the regulations, claiming that as a recipient of federal tax dollars – $336.7 million from government grants and contracts – they would be required not to discriminate against pro-life nurses who apply for a job.

“The rule would also require entities that receive family planning funding, like Planned Parenthood, to certify that we will not refuse to hire nurses and other providers who object to abortion and even certain types of birth control,” the abortion provider states on its website.

One nightmare scenario for PP is that “crisis pregnancy centers” run by “anti-choice zealots” will “receive a massive influx of our tax dollars to expand their deceptive operations and to attract hundreds of thousands of women who think they’ll be getting medical care but instead will receive a large dose of anti-choice ideology.”

Warning supporters that PP may lose market share over its pro-choice ideology, the organization has launched a petition effort to pressure the HSS to ditch the regulations.

“Clearly, abortion advocates do not believe in the ‘right to choose’ if the choice is not to participate in abortion or provide drugs that can take the life of a human being,” said Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America.

“When abortion advocates claim this regulation would discourage providing ‘contraception’ it reveals that their definition of ‘contraception’ includes drugs that would cause abortion.”

A copy of the memo obtained by Reuters indicates the HSS is worried about state laws mandating that health care providers violate their consciences on abortion or lose their jobs or grant money.

“Despite the fact that several conscience statutes protecting health care entities from discrimination have been in existence for decades, recent events suggest the public and people in the health care industry are largely uninformed of the protections,” states the draft.

“In May 2007, Connecticut passed a law requiring all hospitals to distribute Plan B to rape victims, despite religious organizations’ objections to the abortifacient nature of the drug,” it continued.

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Bush Administration Seeks to Forbid Federal Aid Discrimination against Pro-Life Health Care Professionals