ADL: U.S. Dept. of Health Rule Could Deny Women Vital Health Services
Update (4/6/09): The League expressed support for an Obama Administration proposal to rescind the regulation. More
New York, NY, December 18, 2008 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sharply criticized a rule issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services that could lead to discrimination and the denial of vital health services to women. Posed as an anti-discrimination measure, the rule greatly expands laws that permit health care workers to invoke religious beliefs as a basis to refuse to provide vital reproductive health care.
Deborah M. Lauter, ADL Civil Rights Director, issued the following statement:
Under this rule, patients may be denied not only vital medical services, but also critical information, referrals, prescriptions and counseling related to their reproductive health.
While we encourage religious accommodation in the workplace, that accommodation must not result in discrimination. The new rule chips away at a woman's constitutionally protected, fundamental right to choose.
We hope President-elect Obama will take immediate steps to reverse this eleventh-hour discriminatory rule when he takes office.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.