Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Clarify Conscience Clause

Xoff says the left and right can come together over opposition to conscience clause laws, i.e., laws that permit certain health care professionals to opt out of specified medical services to which they have moral objection (generally those involving, in the view of the objector, the taking of life). He is right that conservatives are not unanimous in supporting such laws because they create a conflict between two values that conservatives hold dear, freedom of conscience and the rights of property, in this case, the right of a business owner to freely direct his or her employees and to fire those who do not wish to follow those directions.

He cites Owen Robinson and me as examples of conservative opposition to conscience clause laws. Owen, it seems, does oppose them. I don't. In the post Bill cites, I said that pharmacist Donald Noesen, who Wal Mart fired for interfering with customers seeking birth control pills, did not have a good case under existing law and that he had, apparently, gone beyond opting out of the activities that he found objectionable (which Wal-Mart allowed him to do) to actively sabotaging his employers business.

I actually support conscience clause protection on right-to-life issues as I explained in a column in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that was much reprinted and referred to throughout the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (and to which I linked in my post on Noesen).

1 comment:

xoff said...

Maybe I wasn't clear enough. I cited your post as an explanation of the case, and Owen's as the example of a conservative who agrees that the law is a bad idea.

I didn't say, although the intro may have suggested, that you oppose the bill.

Sorry for any misunderstanding.