National Partnership for Women & Families

Ness Applauds Administration for 'Taking Politics Out of Health Care'

Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — March 6, 2009 —
“We applaud the Obama Administration for its proposal to rescind the provider refusal regulation that took effect on the final day of the Bush Administration. The regulation is onerous, damaging and unnecessary. It reinterprets existing laws to allow nearly any employee in a federally-funded health care setting who claims a religious objection to refuse to provide information, referrals, or access to a range of health care services.

If not repealed, this regulation will dramatically reduce access to family planning information and health services, particularly for low-income women, because it elevates the rights of providers over those of patients.

While supporters of the regulation claim that a climate of intolerance prevents qualified individuals from entering the health profession, it offered no evidence whatsoever to substantiate its claim.

In acting quickly to do away with this unnecessary regulation, the Obama Administration is taking politics out of health care policy. This is a smart, compassionate action.”

The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at

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