Tollefson: Should the Obama Conscience Rules Seek to Protect Persons or Provide Benefits?

by Benjamin Domenech on 8:58 am March 24, 2009

Two recent actions by President Obama throw into sharp relief a tension between the role of the state as a protector of persons and the role of the state as a provider of benefits. First, promising to restore the integrity of science while seeking vast medical benefits for many, President Obama repealed the restrictions set by President Bush on the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Second, President Obama signaled his intention to repeal a rule promulgated in the last days of the Bush administration that codified previous law ensuring that no health care providers at institutions receiving federal funds should be discriminated against for refusing to participate in abortion or sterilization procedures.

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