Catholic World News

Prelates call for immediate passage of Conscience Protection Act; House vote scheduled

July 08, 2016

Two prelates who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called for the immediate passage of the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (H.R.4828/S.2927).

In their July 7 letter to lawmakers, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, cited three recent actions:

  • “on June 21 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared, contrary to the plain meaning of current federal law, that California's Department of Managed Health Care can continue forcing all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions, including late-term abortions”
  • “New York's Department of Financial Services has followed California's lead in forcing health care entities to cover abortions in health plans”
  • “on June 21, Skagit County Superior Court in Washington ruled that public hospitals in that state must do abortions if they also offer maternity care”

“These disturbing new actions to force healthcare providers to participate in the destruction of human life cry out for an immediate federal remedy,” added Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori. “Even those who disagree on the issue of abortion should be able to respect those who wish not to participate in abortion.”

On July 8, Joseph Pitts (R-PA), chairman of the Health Subcommittee of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is hosting a forum on conscience protection to draw attention to the issue.

The Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Human Life Action, which works closely with the US bishops on pro-life legislation, have announced they are taking part in #NoAbortionCoercion, a social media blitz in the days prior to a scheduled July 13 vote in the House of Representatives.


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  • Posted by: k_cusick1963 - Jul. 09, 2016 8:12 AM ET USA

    I'm so glad to see this action. This administration has run rough-shod over every long-standing, deeply held sacred principle that this great country was founded upon!

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jul. 08, 2016 8:20 PM ET USA

    Lest we forget, last week a Catholic nursing home was forced to pay $6,000 or so because they refused to allow a doctor to give a lethal injection to a patient. And they are being sued by the patient's family besides. Euthanasia is going to be as big as abortion in the spectrum of life experiences.