Why Melissa Rogers Signed the Health Care Workers Document
Dozens of religious leaders met in Washington with members of Obama's administration last week to go over policy issues. Right before the meetings began, the White House also announced the full Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. One of those members included Melissa Rogers, director of the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public Affairs, who joined the council to make sure partnerships between faith-based groups and the government would be constitutionally sound. I recently asked her about the council and why she signed the statement on conscience protections that Katelyn wrote about last week.
Why did you sign the statement urging the Obama administration on conscience protections for health workers? Do you think it will be effective?
First, a bit of background. There are specific conscience protections for health-care workers in federal statutory law. These statutes will continue to exist no matter the outcome of the administrative process - an administrative agency cannot undo federal statutes. The administrative process asked whether a Bush regulation dealing with these issues should be rescinded or retained.
Our statement did not ask the Obama administration to retain or rescind the Bush regulation because we could not agree on that issue. What we agree on is that if the Obama administration rescinds the Bush regulation, it should educate the stakeholders about existing federal statutory protections for the rights ...1