`Right of conscience' reg advances

The Bush administration's proposal to expand health workers' right to avoid participating in performing abortions advanced this week, according to ProPublica.org (a non-profit investigative reporting site that deserves to be checked regularly).While the article has some of the buzzwords we journalists use to get a certain point across ("a controversial midnight regulation"), it gives an evenhanded account of what is, well, a controversial midnight regulation.Now if the Bush administration would only expand its respect for conscience into other areas ... for example, the hundreds of soldiers who have said conscience forbids them from serving in the war in Iraq.

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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