New Rule Could Limit Access to Morning-After Pill

Wisconsin's law requiring hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims may be undercut by a new administrative rule issued by the Bush administration.

Federal and state law has long allowed doctors and nurses to opt out of providing abortions. A rule issued by the Bush administration last week broadens the so-called conscience clause to allow all health workers to refuse to provide birth control, information about abortions and other health care services.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services executive assistant Rea Holmes says the rule voids a state law requiring emergency rooms to provide rape victims with information about the so-called morning-after pill and dispense the drug at their request.

Holmes says President-elect Barack Obama could block or revise the rule once he takes office.