Heh Heh Heh. Today’s the last day of George W. Bush ever, but 43’s not going out without a few final salvos in his fight against reality. A new federal regulation enacted by the outgoing Prez gives doctors “conscience rights”, which permit them to refuse to provide medical treatments they find morally objectionable, ie: abortion and contraception. Seven states and two family-planning groups went to federal court yesterday to get the regulation off the books.
“In three lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, the states and groups sought an immediate court order preventing the regulation from going into effect Tuesday and a permanent decision voiding the rule.
“On the way out, the Bush administration has left a ticking political time bomb that is set to explode literally on the day of the president’s inaugural and blow apart women’s rights,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, who filed one of the suits on behalf of his state, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Rhode Island. “This midnight rule is a nightmare for hospitals and clinics, as well as women.”
Blumenthal’s lawsuit challenges the regulation on several grounds, charging that it is too vague and overbroad and conflicts with other federal laws and state laws. The Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a second suit on behalf of its affiliates, while the American Civil Liberties Union filed sued on behalf of the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, which represents many state and county health departments, among other providers.
“We filed this lawsuit today on behalf of the millions of women whose health care has been put in jeopardy by the Bush administration’s parting shot at women’s health,” said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. “The courts must strike down this unconscionable, unconstitutional last-minute midnight rule.”