Protect the rights of medical professionals? No way.
Last night, the Senate voted 56-41 against Senator Tom Coburn's budget bill amendment preserving the right of conscience for health care workers...and patients.
Coburn's amendment reads:
"To protect the freedom of conscience for patients and the right of health care providers to serve patients without violating their moral and religious convictions."Coburn offered the amendment because the Obama administration is seeking to rescind a federal regulation established by the Bush administration that offers further protections to doctors and other caregivers who decline to participate in procedures such as abortions.
The Senate said "no."
A bright spot? Senator Casey and nine other Catholic Senators said "yes."
Nine Catholic senators voted to support the Coburn amendment: Murkowski, Martinez, Risch, Brownback, Bunning, Vitter, Johanns, Voinovich, and Bob Casey. Significantly, I think, is the fact that this is the third pro-life vote cast by Senator Casey since his public admonishment by his local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Martino.
(Not-so-parenthetical comment? Bishops, for Heaven's sake, take note!)
Senators professing to be Catholic opposing the Coburn amendment: Begich, Dodd, Kaufman, Durbin, Harkin, Landrieu, Collins, Mikulski, Kerry, McCaskill, Menendez, Gillibrand, Reed, Leahy, Cantwell, and Murray. Senator Edward Kennedy did not vote.
Said Senator Coburn on his amendment:
“Like many pro-life doctors, I would go to jail before being forced to perform procedures, such as abortion, that violate my deepest held convictions. Discriminating against health care providers by requiring them to disregard their deeply held beliefs is assault on liberty.”Sources: World Magazine and Catholic.net.