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Pitts-Led Forum Examines Protecting Conscience Rights, House to Consider the Conscience Protection Act This week

by | Jul 11, 2016

HouseEnergyCommerceComm34reWASHINGTON, DC – Last Friday The House Energy and Commerce Committee hosted a forum discussion on conscience rights led by Health Subcommittee Chairman Joseph Pitts (R-PA).

The discussion focused on the importance of preventing government discrimination against doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care entities that refuse to participate in abortions. Participants echoed a unified theme – #NoAbortionCoercion – that no American should be forced to participate in an abortion.

“Conscience is about choice. It is an unalienable right. It is simply unacceptable to force health care providers, charities, small businesses, and churches to violate their sincerely held convictions,” said Chairman Pitts. “The Conscience Protection Act is critical to stop the government and those it funds from forcing health care entities to participate in or perform abortions against their deeply held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs. The states of California and New York continue to receive federal funding through the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) without penalty regardless of the fact that they are imposing abortion mandates on those with conscience objections to abortion.”

Fe Vinoya, a nurse from New Jersey, spoke about how she became a nurse to help people, stating, “Participating in the destruction of human life is not only a violation of my religious convictions, it conflicts with my calling as a medical professional to protect life, not to end it.”

Casey Mattox, Senior Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom, spoke about how conscience issues have not been a partisan issue in the past, stating, “In Roe [v. Wade] itself the Supreme Court acknowledged the importance of protecting conscience even as it created an abortion right, noting that the AMA recognized that medical professionals should never be ‘required to perform any act violative of personally held moral principles.’ Few disagreed.”

Dr. Dave Weldon, former Member of Congress and author of the Weldon Amendment, discussed why he introduced his amendment, stating, “I authored this amendment to protect freedom for people to provide health care free from abortion and freedom for people to access health care and coverage free from the scourge of abortion.”

Speaker Ryan (R-WI) announced earlier last week that the House will vote this week on the Conscience Protection Act.

To send an e-mail in favor of the bill to your representative in the U.S. House, click here.

Categories: Conscience Rights