What prompted the Conscience Protection Act was a California state law that forced health insurers under the state plan to cover elective abortions, with no exceptions. The state law was upheld by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which stated that California could “continue forcing all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions, including late-term abortions.”
The Conscience Protection Act – H.R. 4828 – seeks to prevent the government from being able to force healthcare providers, including doctors and nurses, from performing abortions, if such a practice violates their personal, moral beliefs.
Obviously, the Democrats are furious over this bill, which passed the House in a 245-182 vote. They’re saying the bill itself “offends the conscience,” is “hypocritical,” and “un-American.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY):
“It is in fact a bill that offends the conscience and threatens the health and security of women. This vindictive bill is yet another tactic to throw roadblocks between women and their constitutional right to choose their own form of reproductive healthcare. Neither an employer nor an insurance company has the right to dictate a woman’s healthcare choices…. It is a vehicle of discrimination against women and women only.”
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC):
“Republicans have a hard time winning – especially on abortion…. This bill allows the employer to veto his employees’ reproductive health choices, how un-American. Let’s thank the Supreme Court of the United States that in an unusual move has just sent a case back to the Justice Department for an appropriate compromise after nuns did not want to fill out a form absolving them from making a decision on abortion for their employees.”
Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL):
“This is a hypocritical bill…because it does nothing to protect the doctors whose conscience guides them to provide women with safe, legal abortions because of hundreds of punitive bills filed in state legislation and this congress, these providers face the threat of harsh penalties for following their consciences: onerous fines, years in prison, and loss of their medical license. Let me respectfully suggest that the consciences that we should be protecting today belong to the women of this nation who should be allowed to choose their own reproductive destiny.”
President Obama has, of course, vowed to veto the bill if it ends up on his desk. That’s one promise we know he’ll keep.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com