[personal profile] singerinthedark
There's a new medical conscience law coming on the books. While it does seek to protect those in the medical field from taking part in activities they feel are morally objectionable, it is so broad in its scope that it could basically take away a woman's right to choose in rural areas and red states. (The people who clean medical instruments are mentioned in the text of the law... yeah it's that broad.)

The text of the law can be found here.

The journal entry that alerted me to this new law can be found here

Date: 2008-08-26 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fools-and-irish.livejournal.com
If this is the law and issue I think it is, then it's in response to the CA Supreme Court's decision that you may be able to pick and choose which *medical procedures* you can perform in good conscience, but you CAN'T pick and choose which *people* to offer them to.

Which I suspect means that any law short of an amendment to the state Constitution will face a reasonable likelihood of immediate challenge, and quite possibly the prospect of being struck down as unconstitutional. This may well be more about symbols and posturing, than about actually changing medical practice in California. That doesn't excuse its passage at all, if it should do so; but it means that even a clear majority vote (if it were to get one) would not be the last word on the issue.

I would bet that this is primarily about motivating dispirited conservative voters in Republican districts, voters who are not thrilled with McCain and so might sit out (thus depriving Republican legislators of some part of their voter-base). I'm not basing that on anything other than tactics and history, though. Creating this kind of hot-button issue for conservative voters is good politics, and it's been done successfully in the past.

Just as certain, though certainly not all, proposals on homosexual marriage and universal health-care can be seen as efforts to mobilize liberal voters.

Date: 2008-08-26 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] groblek.livejournal.com
I'm not sure how a federal rule change would be directed at a state supreme court ruling, but maybe I'm missing something here.

Date: 2008-08-26 06:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fools-and-irish.livejournal.com
Are they talking about a FEDERAL law on this? Damn. More ambitious than I thought.

I *have* to believe that Constitutional precedent on nondiscrimination would force even this slanted Supreme Court to toss out anything like it. If the law lets doctors pick and choose who they get to serve, how is that different from a teacher, say, refusing to educate black students?

Date: 2008-08-26 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] groblek.livejournal.com
Yep, federal department of health and human services. Officially a "Rule change" by the department The scarier part of this? Much of what they're trying to do here is already enshrined in federal law (cited in the text of the proposed rule), this is just trying to clarify and expand upon some pretty objectionable existing stuff.

Date: 2008-08-26 06:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fools-and-irish.livejournal.com
This puts me in mind of FDR's attempt to expand the Supreme Court to 15 justices. Probably just as well it didn't work, else at this point it'd have reached into the 60s. But one can understand his motivation.

Date: 2008-08-26 04:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] serendipity17.livejournal.com
As I'm reading through the 42 page document, I notice that there's a bit in the text about "encouraging workplace diversity" by allowing persons who would have moral objections to medical procedures to enter the medical workforce. It's like a militant vegan being encouraged to work at a sausage factory--and then the vegan refuses to clean the grinder, on the grounds that more sausage would be produced--and the vegan *can't* be fired for failure to perform zer job requirements, because so firing would be discriminatory, don'tcha know.

I don't have a problem with people who wouldn't want to do certain things to not take the job in the first place. Re-defining terms on a 30+ year old piece of legislation seems rather arbitrary and suspicious both.

Date: 2008-08-26 05:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] groblek.livejournal.com
I'm glad that at least the final draft doesn't include the definition of abortion from the earlier draft that was circulating, which read as follows: "the Department proposes to define abortion as “any of the various procedures—including the prescription 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.” Never mind that there exists no way at present that we can test for conception, and thus most doctors won't consider a woman pregnant until after implantation. Yeesh.

Date: 2008-08-27 04:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] terpsichoros.livejournal.com
Oh, let's read this a different way:

There's a regulation being proposed which would explicitly forbid federally-funded entities from discriminating against doctors who perform abortions and sterilizations.



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