We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $23,735 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Cardinal calls for passage of conscience-protection provisions

Catholic World News - July 19, 2012

Two conscience-protection provisions--the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act and the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act--have been included in the current draft of the House budget for the Departments of Health and Human Services and Labor.

“The Catholic community and many others concerned about religious freedom will work hard to ensure that these protections are enacted into law,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act codifies and strengthens the Hyde/Weldon amendment, which is designed to protect pro-life healthcare providers against discrimination.

“The effectiveness of Hyde/Weldon has been compromised by several factors,” Cardinal DiNardo said in a letter to members of the House of Representatives. “It can only be enforced by lodging a complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services, which in recent years has given a low priority to such claims and sometimes has itself been the perpetrator of discrimination. Hyde/Weldon’s only stated penalty for violations is the denial of all Labor/HHS funds to a state or other governmental entity, which has been criticized as both implausible and subject to legal challenge.”

“Instances of discrimination against pro-life health care providers continue to emerge, and some states implementing the Affordable Care Act have begun to claim that they can force all private health plans on their exchanges to cover elective abortion as an ‘essential health benefit,’” he continued.

Cardinal DiNardo added that the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act would “counter a policy that poses the most direct federal threat to religious freedom in recent memory”--the HHS mandate.

“While Congress in recent years has laudably sought to maximize access to health coverage, it has ignored a major obstacle to such access,” he said. “Neither individuals nor organizations can fully or willingly pursue active participation in our health care system if doing so requires them to abandon their most deeply held beliefs and convictions about right and wrong. Our government has a long history of respecting rights of conscience in health care, and the time is long overdue to reaffirm this laudable tradition in the face of today’s growing threats.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($23,735 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,665.00
93% 7%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines April 24
A More Militant Church? April 24
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops April 24
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot April 24
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? April 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21