This morning there was a forum sponsored by The House Committee for Energy & Commerce showcasing the need for The Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (CPA). This legislation is crucial to protect the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers. It will make it even clearer that sponsors or providers of health plans that do not include elective abortion cannot be discriminated against. The CPA will protect health care providers from being forced to pay for or participate in abortions, and allow victims of discrimination a “right of action” to defend their rights in court.
There was an impressive panel of policy experts and victims of discrimination who have been coerced to choose between following their conscience and earning their living. Some victims were nurses who were threatened with loss of job and license because of their deeply held beliefs. Others were pastors, who were mandated to provide abortion coverage in their insurance plans for their employees. Here are some powerful quotes from the very people affected:
“Despite many pleas to our superiors, we were required to be trained to participate in preparation, delivery, and the disposal of baby.” Fe Vinoya, nurse.
“California issued order requiring every plan to “provide coverage of ALL pregnancy terminations (there was no religious exemption).” Chris Lewis, Lead Pastor, Foothill Church in California
“Foothill Church is being coerced by the state to violate cherished beliefs by offering abortions in health plan. This illegal mandate places Foothill Church in an impossible situation.” Chris Lewis, Lead Pastor, Foothill Church in California.
They offer so many services to assist the poor and vulnerable, their employees don’t want to participate in abortion, and their members don’t want their tithes to pay for abortion, yet they are being coerced by the State.
“I find it appalling beyond words that my church is being forced to pay for abortion.” Pastor Jim Garlow, Lead Pastor of Skyline Church in California.
“If government can take away our liberty to respect life, there is no right it cannot take away.” Richard Doerflinger – Former Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
There’s a vote expected in the House on The Conscience Protection Act of 2016 next week and we need you to contact Congress and let them know you expect them to protect our freedom of conscience. If you missed The Forum you can watch it here. Keep following us on Twitter: @HumanLifeAction & Facebook: facebook.com/humanlifeaction.