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Catholic World News News Feature

US bishops ask Catholics: comment on 'conscience clause' removal April 07, 2009

On Thursday, April 9-- Holy Thursday-- the US government will close the 30-day period allotted for public comment on President Obama's proposal to eliminate the "conscience clause" that protects health-care workers.

The American bishops have asked all Catholics to make their voices heard on this proposal. Although the Obama administration appears determined to make the change, citizens can go on the record in support of the rights of health-care workers who do not wish to be involved in immoral procedures. Without the protection of the "conscience clause," doctors, nurses, and pharmacists may face penalties if they refuse to participate in abortion, sterilization, contraception, sex-change operations, in vitro fertilization, and other procedures that the Church condemns.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a web site to guide American citizens interested in learning more about this controversy, and submitting comments on the proposed change.

Comments may be submitted electronically to the Department of Health and Human Services. Comments may also be mailed to:
Rescission Proposal Comments
Hubert H. Humphrey Building
200 Independence Avenue SW
Room 716G
Washington, DC 20201
With the 30-day comment period coming to an end, any comments submitted by letter should be sent by overnight mail.

All comments submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services are public documents, and will be available for viewing online.

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