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White House to Rescind Health Worker Conscience Rule

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A Bush administration rule that gave broad protection to health workers who refuse to take part in abortions or other health care procedures that conflict with their beliefs will be rescinded by the Obama administration, The New York Times reported.

The last-minute Bush law was announced on Dec. 19 and took effect the day President Obama took office last month. On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services served notice that it will repeal the regulation, the Times reported.

The official notice of the Obama administration's intent is expected to be officially published next week. After that, there will be a 30-day period for public comment.

Opponents of the Bush rule welcomed the decision.

"Today's action by the Obama administration demonstrates that this president is not going to stand by and let women's health be placed in jeopardy," Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, said Friday.

The group and the attorneys general of several states had filed legal challenges against the Bush regulation, which was also opposed by the American Medical Association and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, the Times said.

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