Urge Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act of 2017!
Take Action today!

Last Updated Date: 
02/11/2017

En Español

Now is the time to contact Congress and advocate for the protection of life and freedom of conscience. The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644) has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. Diane Black (R-TN) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and in the Senate (S. 301) by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK). This much-needed, common-sense legislation will clarify federal law and ensure that those who provide health care and health coverage can continue to do so without being forced by government to help destroy innocent unborn children. Please take a moment to let your representatives in Congress know that we expect them to protect our most cherished liberties.

Last year, on July 13, the House passed an identical bill of the same name (S. 304), but it was never enacted into law. Therefore, we must continue to advocate for conscience protection for those who choose not to participate in abortion and remain hopeful that with a change in the White House our efforts will meet with success this year.

Recommended Actions to take immediately:

  • Send emails to your members of Congress through HumanLifeAction.org
  • Call Congress. You can find your representatives and obtain their contact information here, or call the U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121
  • Share this alert by email, Facebook, and any other social media outlets. Stay connected for updates by following us @HumanLifeAction on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Pray for the enactment of the Conscience Protection Act

Suggested Message to the House: (The correct message will be automatically selected for you if you communicate with Congress through the Human Life Action Center.)

  • For members who have not yet cosponsored: Please support and cosponsor the Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 644) and help ensure its approval by the House of Representatives this year. Most doctors and nurses are unwilling to participate in abortions and should not be driven from the healing professions.  It is wrong for government to force Americans to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life.
  • For members who have already cosponsored: Thank you for cosponsoring the Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 644). I respectfully urge you to work to enact this important legislation in defense of life and liberty this year.

Suggested Message to the Senate: (The correct message will be automatically selected for you if you communicate with Congress through the Human Life Action Center) .

  • For members who have not yet cosponsored: Please cosponsor and work to enact the policy of the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (S. 301) and help ensure its approval this year. Most doctors and nurses are unwilling to participate in abortions and should not be driven from the healing professions.  It is wrong for government to force Americans to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life.
  • For members who have already cosponsored:  Thank you for cosponsoring the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (S. 301). I respectfully urge you to work to enact this important legislation in defense of life and liberty this year.

Background:

The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 will address the deficiencies that block effective enforcement of existing laws, most notably by establishing a private right of action allowing victims of discrimination to defend their own rights in court. 

The need for clarification of federal law cannot be doubted.  While existing federal laws already protect conscientious objection to abortion in theory, this protection has not proved effective in practice.  These laws can only be enforced by complaint to the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which— despite repeated violations—has refused to fully enforce these laws. 

For example, on June 21, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights declared that the State of California may continue forcing all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions—in violation of the plain text of the Weldon amendment.  Violations of the Weldon amendment are also taking place in other states, such as New York and Washington.

Even HHS itself has discriminated against those who cannot in conscience facilitate abortions, as when in 2011 it implemented a new “strong preference” for grantees willing to refer human trafficking victims solely to health care providers who favor abortion.  While the Weldon amendment to the annual Labor/HHS appropriation bill has forbidden such governmental discrimination since 2004, state officials have violated that amendment with impunity and claimed that any effort to enforce it would be subject to legal challenge.