Alan Sears

“Always let your conscience be your guide,” Jiminy Cricket used to sing to Pinocchio. Sounds like good advice, but then…Jiminy had his ulterior motives. To his mind, he was the voice of that puppet boy’s conscience – so he himself would be doing the guiding.

That’s pretty much seems to be the philosophy of the Obama administration when it comes to the “rights of conscience” of medical professionals. The team now pulling the strings at the Department of Health and Human Services has decided that preserving religious liberty – much less life in the womb – is a luxury the nation can’t afford.

And they expect health care providers to take their moral cues from the government…not their own convictions.

Just to show who’s running things, the department has moved to rescind a new rule – enacted, after many years of study, during President George W. Bush’s last month in office – that reaffirms the right of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists to decide for themselves such things as, say, whether to participate in an elective abortion procedure, or provide the so-called “morning after” death pill to minor girls. (The public is invited to comment to HHS on the bill at until April 9.)

Actually, laws protecting the right of health care professionals to follow their own conscience and religious beliefs have been on the books for years. The new regulation merely gives the federal government a tangible means of enforcing a law that runs to the very heart of what it means to be a free American.

But not everyone is committed to preserving that freedom – even those who’ve made their names pretending to do so. Small wonder then that the legal force behind the effort to take away this most basic religious liberty is the American Civil Liberties Union. What possible interest could an organization that advertises itself as the Great Defender of Personal Freedom have in protecting the right of tens of thousands of American citizens to follow their deepest convictions?

Alan Sears

Alan Sears, a former federal prosecutor in the Reagan Administration, is president and CEO of the Alliance Defending Freedom, a legal alliance employing a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.