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Monday, July 25, 2011

Contraceptive mandate discards cost and conscience considerations

Published in The Washington Post, July 25, 2011:
Discarding consideration of both cost and conscientious objections, the Obama administration appears poised to adopt a radical advisory board recommendation: that the federal government must pay for or force others to pay for ethically controversial contraceptive drugs.
Included in the indiscriminate mandate would be controversial drugs such as ella (ulipristal acetate) and the “morning-after pill” (levonorgestrel). Food and Drug Administration labels note that these drugs “may inhibit implantation” of a living human embryo. Since many physicians, patients, employers and even some insurers adhere to life-affirming ethical standards, they cannot in good conscience participate in prescribing, taking or paying for such drugs. This mandate offers them no alternative.
That’s obviously of scant concern to the administration, which has gutted the only federal regulation protecting conscientious medical professionals from job-ending discrimination. Nor does the administration consider consequential the additional cost to taxpayers and potentially business-killing burdens that this overbearing policy will bring.
Time and again, confronted with protests that the government cannot continue to willfully disregard cost and conscience, this president audaciously answers, “Yes, we can.”
Jonathan Imbody, Ashburn
The writer is vice president for government relations of the Christian Medical Association and director of Freedom2Care.

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