Last year, HHS opened the proposed rules to public comment, and around 200,000 people took advantage of the chance to say “hold on.” Comments came from medical associations, women’s health organizations, members of Congress, state governors and attorneys general, religious leaders, and the general public.
But the administration is going ahead anyway. The regulations allow a broad range of health care workers and facilities to refuse to provide care, information, and counseling about reproductive services they personally disagree with, potentially even in emergency situations. At the same time, it fails to require refusing providers to either notify their employers or their patients of their objections to providing care.
In other words, no one else might know that these providers are withholding information or refusing to provide the full range of reproductive health options.
Among other things, this means that women seeking family planning services at federally funded health centers may no longer be able to get it; patients in need of other services such as end-of-life care, HIV/AIDS treatment, and mental health services could be denied; and hospitals could refuse to treat a pregnant woman experiencing a miscarriage.
More details are available here.