July 21st, 2008

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Legal Problems W/ Latest HHS Scheme

In a last ditch effort to show loyalty to the evangelicals, the Bush Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed regulations that would prohibit any recipient of federal funds from requiring that any of its personnel to perform any abortion or administer any birth control or in any way be involved in either activity. I'm summarizing here, but the intent is clearly to be as broad as possible in the nature of the activity from which an employee or institution may abstain -- provided that it somehow relates back to birth control or contraception. Notably, no other behavior is so privileged.

Without regard to whether the enabling statutes cited provide this authority, I see some significant legal problems.

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