(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) today applauded news that the Department of Health and Human Services is poised to rescind a Bush Administration regulation that would allow anyone working for a health care provider to refuse to perform or assist in the performance of any health care service if doing so would violate his or her religious or moral beliefs - without regard for the needs of patients.

“We finally have a team in the White House who understands that patient protection and access to care should never take a back seat to politics,” Senator Murray said.  “Today’s announcement is a step in the right direction and I applaud the Obama Administration’s decision to take on a regulation that undermines women’s health.  As the process moves forward I will continue to encourage my colleagues and the public to weigh in on this critical issue.”

Senator Murray, along with former colleague Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, led the effort to block HHS from implementing this Bush Administration rule. Following a meeting with HHS Secretary Michael O. Leavitt on September 23, Senators Murray and Clinton led a group of 28 Senators urging Secretary Leavitt to halt the proposed HHS rule and later introduced legislation to prevent the regulation from being implemented.