USCCB News Release
April 8, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New Poll Shows Strong Support for Conscience Rights in Health Care
WASHINGTON—A nationwide poll conducted on March 23-25 found that 87 percent of adults surveyed believe it is important to "make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections." Conducted by the polling company™, inc./WomanTrend on behalf of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), the survey also showed majority support even among self-identified "pro-choice" respondents for the two-month-old conscience protection regulation now at risk of being rescinded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman on abortion at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the data and urged HHS to keep the current regulation in place.
"The Obama administration has moved to rescind a vital HHS regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care providers," McQuade said, "But according to this new survey, the majority of Americans—whether 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice', male or female, Republican or Democratic—support the regulation and oppose its rescission."
The survey summary and methodology are available at www.freedom2care.org. The Freedom2Care Coalition is an ad hoc coalition organized by the CMA to defend the conscience rights of health care professionals and students.
The USCCB and Freedom2Care are helping Americans voice their support for the regulations by midnight April 9 when the public comment period draws to a close. To date, a total of over 73,000 e-mail messages have been sent to HHS through Freedom2Care.org and the USCCB's e-mail campaign facilitated by its partner organization, the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment.
"Only one day remains to defend the existing regulation," McQuade explained. "I urge all concerned citizens to e-mail HHS and pray for the protection of conscience rights."
The USCCB has advocated for the strongest possible protection for conscience rights since the current regulation was first considered in the summer of 2008. For additional resources, including links to the e-mail campaign and bi-lingual YouTube videos of medical professionals and USCCB president Cardinal Francis George, visit: www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection.