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Faith-based Advisers Petition Obama on Conscience Protections

Five members of President Obama's faith-based advisory council have joined the debate over his plan to rescind recent conscience protections for healthcare workers, but could not agree whether those rules should remain intact or be overturned.

Obama's Department of Health and Human Services has set a Thursday deadline for comments to be submitted on whether regulations former President Bush enacted in December should be overturned, as Obama plans to do.

The letter, signed by eight religious leaders and scholars, said upfront that some signers would urge HHS to retain the Bush regulations, while others would urge the Department to rescind them.

But either way, the letter submitted by Nathan Diament from the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, said longstanding federal protections from the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are inadequate.

"The decision to protect conscience concerns about deeply divisive healthcare procedures was made over a period of decades by the Congress, and nothing the Department ...

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