Forget "bipartisanship" or "reaching out to the other side." There has been a change of tone in Washington DC, though it's not the type typically discussed by the DC crowd. I'm talking about honest budgets, where wars aren't paid for by emergency funding, or where we're not pretending like the economy isn't crap. And I'm talking about rescinding Bush administration rules with Orwellian names that privilege religious rights over individual rights.
Candidate Obama (unfairly) took some heat for some "present" votes in the Illinois Senate when the matter of choice came up, and there were some political opponents who tried to cast him as less than solid on womens' rights. But his actions as president--repealing the global gag rule, for example--have already shown where he stands on the issue, and this news about the ill-named "conscience rule" will make that even clearer.
Taking another step into the abortion debate, the Obama administration Friday will move to rescind a controversial rule that allows health-care workers to deny abortion counseling or other family-planning services if doing so would violate their moral beliefs, according to administration officials.Now the article later says that the Obama administration "will consider drafting a new rule to clarify what health-care workers can reasonably refuse for patients." So now our job as activists is clear--let the Obama administration know that any rule that precludes women from being able to get the treatment they deem necessary is unacceptable, than when a woman's health and a medical professional's conscience clash, the person with the heath issue wins, unequivocally, and every time.
Edit: Amy felt I needed to be clearer about some of the specifics here, so I'm adding this. Rescinding the current rule would not change the much older one that allows doctors and nurses to refuse to perform surgical abortions--that one would stay in place. What would be rescinded is the far vaguer rule that the Bush administration put in at the last moment, and which could have extended that conscience rule to include people who clean surgical instruments used in said procedures or pharmacists who don't want to fill lawfully prescribed medications like emergency contraception.