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Healthcare culture and Catholics

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Some people were surprised at the current administration's unwillingness to grant Catholic institutions a waiver from the mandate to provide contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs without co-pay through the now mandatory health insurance plans. They shouldn't have been. Almost from their first days in power, the present administration had signaled its unwillingness to protect rights of conscience of health care providers and institutions.

In August of 2008 the Bush administration's department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued regulations designed to protect health care providers from discrimination. The goal was to formalize the protections passed by Congress. The protections were broadly written and included any procedures or actions that the provider felt violated their conscience or religious beliefs. According to then HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, "Doctors and other health care providers should not be forced to choose between good professional standing and violating their conscience."

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