A last-minute skirmish is on at the White House, where President Bush is about to issue a rule that will protect the employment of health providers who refuse abortion or contraceptive services on moral grounds.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association representing Catholic hospitals support the new rule. The latter's president Sister Carol Keehan explained: "[W]e have seen a variety of efforts to force Catholic and other health care providers to perform or refer for abortions and sterilizations."
The opposition to the rule is substantial, including: "the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, 28 senators, more than 110 representatives and the attorneys general of 13 states", not to mention president-elect Barack Obama. (IHT)