The Bush administration has been praised often for doing their part to ensure a smooth transition to an Obama presidency. At the same time, many leading Republicans have said that they – like the rest of the country – are rooting for Obama to succeed. The consequences of him failing, especially on the economic front, are just too dire.
Yet, someone in the Bush administration hasn’t gotten the message. Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt recently instituted a new regulation expanding the right of various health care workers to refuse to refer a woman to an abortion provider, to refer a woman to any service that might counsel an abortion, or to provide emergency contraception.
This regulation is set to take effect on Obama’s inaguration day. Leavitt could hardly think that such a regulation would survive past the inaguration of a pro-choice president. And for some reason, he had not instituted the regulation before this point despite being secretary since 2005 – so he obviously didn’t see it as a priority.
But it’s hard to think of a better way to drag Obama into the culture wars and reduce his political capital as he attempts to tackle our looming economic crisis.
[This picture is a work of the U.S. Federal government and thus part of the public domain.]