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Lawsuits Filed to Block Controversial New Health Regulation


Aired 4/19/09


The state of California and Planned Parenthood have filed lawsuits to block a controversial regulation from taking effect this week. The new rule would protect healthcare workers who refuse to provide medical services they feel violates their religious or ethical beliefs. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.


The Bush Administration issued the regulation last month. Supporters say it's needed because healthcare workers who object to abortion and contraception face discrimination.


Under the rule, the federal government could cut off funding to any state or hospital that doesn't allow workers to opt out of services they object to.


Planned Parenthood spokesman Vince Hall says it's catastrophic.


Vince Hall: Everybody from the janitor up to the physician can decide which services they want to participate in and which they don't. And it goes way beyond abortion. It includes infertility treatments, it includes contraception. It has no boundaries.


President-elect Obama could repeal the rule, but that action wouldn't take effect for months.


Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.



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