November 30, 2015

Take Action: Protect Concience Rights of Healthcare Workers

The current laws to protect conscientious objection to abortion have loopholes and legal weaknesses that opponents of conscience rights have been able to exploit.

The biggest loophole? None of these laws includes a “private right of action,” allowing victims of discrimination to go to court to defend their rights.

For example, the California department of managed health care has ordered almost all health coverage statewide – even coverage provided by churches and other religious organizations – to include unlimited abortion coverage. California’s mandate violates a federal law known as the Weldon amendment, but the federal agency assigned to enforce it has taken no action since complaints were filed over a year ago.

Additionally, the federal grant to serve human trafficking victims was taken away from the U.S. bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services agency and its nationwide network of Catholic subgrantees in 2011.

Despite a congressional investigation, and calls for the government to obey its own conscience laws, government pressure on pro-life social service providers and medical professionals throughout the country continues.

A solution is available and we should be part of it.

Congress has long been considering a remedy called the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), to close the loopholes and provide a private right of action. Introduced in the past as a free-standing bill, it is now part of the House of Representatives’ appropriations bill for funding HHS.

Presented by the Minnesota Catholic Conference

By December, Congress needs to pass a law funding government programs in Fiscal Year 2016 – and this urgently needed reform should be part of that final bill.

Contact your federal representatives and urge them to include this reform through the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), the USCCB partner organization mobilizing grassroots support for the bishops’ pro-life agenda.