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NRLC urges U.S. House members to cosponsor Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940)

Mar 5, 2013 | Abortion Non-Discrimination

March 5, 2013 (202) 626-8820

RE: Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940)

Dear Member of Congress:

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nationwide federation of state right-to-life organizations, urges you to co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940), introduced by Congresswoman Diane Black and numerous colleagues. This comprehensive legislation provides badly needed conscience protections for Americans who face an increasingly frequent use of coercive means B governmental and other B to compel participation in providing abortion and other procedures regardless of religious and moral objections.

Section 3 of H.R. 940 would amend the Obama health care law (“ObamaCare”) to prevent the imposition of regulatory mandates that violate the religious or moral convictions of those who purchase or provide health insurance. When the health care legislation was pending in the Senate in 2009, NRLC warned that the “preventive health services” provision would empower the Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate coverage of any medical service, merely by adding the service to a fluid list. That authority has since been used to issue regulations that attempt to coerce countless employers and citizens to purchase health plans that include drugs and procedures that violate their religious and moral convictions. H.R. 940 would amend the ObamaCare law itself, to provide protection for those who in conscience cannot participate in providing certain procedures or drugs.

Section 4 of the bill would codify the Hyde-Weldon provision (a limitation on appropriations that has been enacted every year since 2004). This provision will prevent any level of government from discriminating against health care providers, including doctors, nurses, hospitals, and insurers, who decline to participate in abortions.

Section 5 would allow victims to seek relief in court for violations of the federal conscience laws. This provision is particularly important in view of the Obama Administration’s oft-demonstrated commitment to expansion of abortion, its disregard for rights of conscience, and its lethargy in enforcing even the conscience protections that exist in current federal law.

The National Right to Life Committee intends to include any roll call vote on H.R. 940 in its scorecard of key pro-life roll calls for the 113th Congress. We urge your support for this badly needed legislation.

Respectfully,

                           
Douglas Johnson                                                                     Susan T. Muskett, J.D.
Legislative Director                                                                Senior Legislative Counsel