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Health Agencies Update
September 24, 2008

“Conscience” Regulations

JAMA. 2008;300(12):1403. doi:10.1001/jama.300.12.1403-a

Controversial regulations proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that would allow health care workers and institutions to refuse on religious grounds to perform or refer patients for abortions may go into law this month.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Medical Association, and other groups say the regulations may limit women's access to abortion and contraception. Despite this, the agency published the rule in the August 26 Federal Register, starting the clock on a final 30-day comment period prior to becoming law (http://frwebgate5.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate.cgi?WAISdocID=762017164570+0+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve).