This week the House of Representatives voted to approve the Conscience Protection Act, a bill aimed at protecting healthcare workers and entities from being forced into providing abortions. The need for this legislation has become particularly magnified by the State of California’s mandate that all health plans cover abortion. Calling movement toward forcing abortion participation “a disturbing trend,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “That is not the kind of country we want to live in—any of us. There is nothing more fulfilling than to live out our faith. We want all people—of all faiths—to live freely in our country. But we can live out our faith only if our government respects our faith. And that’s why we need to pass this bill.” Similarly, Jeanne Mancini, President of the March for Life, stated, “During this time in our country’s history when Americans’ moral and conscience protections are under direct attack from the Administration and Supreme Court, we thank the House of Representatives for passing this just and necessary bill which will protect healthcare providers, small businesses, non-profits, and churches from being forced to cover abortion.”
Of note, the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a forum on this subject last week featuring testimony from former Rep. Dave Weldon (R-Fla.), Pastor Jim Garlow of Skyline Church in California, and Casey Mattox of Alliance Defending Freedom, among others. Testimony and video from that meeting is available here.
Similar legislation sponsored by Senator James Lankford (R-Okla.) is currently before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: July 15, 2016