Congressman Jim Bridenstine Supports Conscience Protection
Today, the House passed landmark pro-life legislation to stop abortion coercion. The Conscience Protection Act prohibits government from penalizing or retaliating against any health care provider who refuses to participate in abortion activities, or insurers who refuse to provide coverage. The bill also creates a right to sue for anybody forced to violate their consciences on abortion.
Congressman Bridenstine said: “I believe that abortion takes the life of an unborn child and harms women. Even if some disagree with that, we can all agree that government should respect everyone’s freedom to NOT participate in abortions. Government should not require hospitals, doctors, nurses and insurances plans to carry out, assist in, or pay for abortions. The Conscience Protection Act enhances important protections against abortion coercion. The Senate should waste no time in getting this bill to the President’s desk.”
Federal law has protected conscience rights on abortion since the 1970s across the private sector. In 2005, the “Weldon Amendment” expanded these rights to cover institutions receiving government funds. Now, state and local governments, including California and New York, are increasingly threatening to withhold funding to coerce insurers to provide abortion coverage and pro-life hospitals, doctors, and nurses to participate in abortion activities.
When government engages in abortion coercion, the only available remedy is filing complaints to the Department of Health and Human Services. Predictably, HHS has slow-rolled its response. Bridenstine added, “That’s why the Conscience Protection Act is so important: the pro-life community needs standing to sue, not more paperwork to fill out.”