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Flood of Comments on Proposed HHS Regulation October 19, 2008

Posted by Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy in Uncategorized.

The Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy is proud that our Friends are among more than 200,000 people who sent individual comments to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt urging him not to implement his proposed regulation permitting reproductive health personnel to refuse their services on ideological grounds.(See “CFI Formal Comments Submitted,” below).
In addition to the individual comments, comments were written by 150 members of Congress; nine governors of the largest states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, and Illinois; 16 states attorneys-general; and a large number of associations and organizations, among them the Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy. Particularly noteworthy were letters of comments from clergy members and religious groups, as well as a Clergy Advisory Board in Opposition to the Proposed Regulation.
What happens next? By law the Department of Health and Human Services is required to reply substantively to each of the comments and address the concerns raised. The sheer bulk of the responses, not to mention the sophisticated legal and medical arguments raised in lengthy comments from professional organizations, may make it impossible to issue a rule before the end of the Bush administration. If a rule is issued, it will probably be challenged in court.
Thanks, everyone who wrote comments. We all acted as good citizens should.
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