Bush's New HHS Rules Attack Women's Health

Despite public objections, the Bush administration last month released a controversial rule that will jeopardize women's health and access to birth control. The final rule expands the ability of health care providers to refuse to provide services and fails to include patient protections.

After issuing the proposed rule change in August, the administration received more than 200,000 comments opposing the regulation, including those from the ACLU and its state affiliates, medical associations, women's health organizations, members of Congress, state governors and attorney generals, religious advocates and the general public. In its comments, the ACLU explained that federal law already requires employers to attempt to accommodate employees' religious and moral objections to the provision of any health care service.

"At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding, not hampering, access to important health services," said Louise Melling, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

Read the ACLU's comments on the proposed rule.