You won’t see it on the list of Bills to be Considered for the week of July 11, but the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 4828, Conscience Protection Act of 2016 next Wednesday, July 13. The purpose of H.R. 4828, which has 85 cosponsors, is to prevent governmental discrimination against providers of health services who decline involvement in abortion.
This (semi) unplanned vote is, in part, a response to the failure last month of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to protect the conscience rights of California churches that object to covering abortion in their health plans. (See articles published in the San Francisco Chronicle or at catholicphilly.com.)
“It is shocking that HHS has allowed the State of California to force all employers – even churches – to fund and facilitate elective abortions in their health insurance plans. Even those who disagree on the issue of life should be able to respect the conscience rights of those who wish not to be involved in supporting abortion.”
— Joint statement of Cardinal Dolan (New York) and Archbishop Lori (Baltimore)
Contact your elected representatives today and urge them to pass this much-needed legislation.
With states and state agencies mandating or trying to mandate abortion coverage, greater conscience protections are needed not only for churches and other groups with a conscientious objection but also individual Americans. Nurses like Cathy Cenzon-DeCarlo should be able to provide health care services without being coerced by an employer, or state government, to participate in the killing of unborn children. Cathy was threatened with losing her job and her nursing license unless she participated in an abortion procedure.
Need More Info?
- Watch Cathy’s statement from a 2013 press conference
- Read Text – H.R. 4828
- Read Text – H.R. 2802, First Amendment Defense Act
- Read Letter – Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori urge passage of Conscience Protection Act
- Read Fact Sheet – Q&A on why we need additional conscience protection legislation
- Read Fact Sheet – HHS Refuses to Enforce Weldon Amendment
- Read The Weldon Amendment
- Read Fact Sheet – Current federal laws that provide Conscience Protection
- Read Fact Sheet – Conscience Protection on Abortion
- Watch Forum on Conscience Protections (July 8, 2016)
- Contact your representative in Congress