Washington D.C., Jul 11, 2016 / 05:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Archbishop William Lori are once again calling on the House of Representatives to enact the Conscience Protection Act to defend the rights of health care workers.
Back in March, the chairmen the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty sent a letter to the House asking for their support. According to the letter, the Conscience Protection Act would make sure people providing health care would be able to do so “without being forced by the government to help destroy innocent unborn children.”
After three recent examples of the government failing to protect the rights of conscientious objection, a new letter was sent July 7 explaining that federal laws providing protection in theory have not “proved effective in practice.” Since their letter sent in March, the bishops said, “three new developments make the need for immediate action to pass the Conscience Protection Act even more urgent.”
On June 21, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said the California’s Department of Managed Heath Care could continue covering “elective abortions.” In 2014, the state had mandated all health plans to cover abortions. Though religious employers objected, no changes were made. The New York Department of Financial Services then did the same, ordering all small group employers — including faith-based companies — o cover abortions as of the first of this year.
Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori cited the last incident from Washington state. On June 21, the Skagit County Superior Court ordered public hospitals providing maternity care to also provide abortions on-site. The ruling came after Skagit Regional Heath sent women to abortion clinics because its employees did not want to perform the operations.
“These disturbing new actions to force healthcare providers to participate in the destruction of human life cry out for an immediate federal remedy,” the chairmen said. Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Lori explained that a difference in opinion should be respected, writing, “Even those who disagree on the issue of abortion should be able to respect those who wish not to participate in abortion.”
“As we continue to bask in the glow of our Forth of July celebrations,” they concluded, “we strongly urge you to uphold the rights to life and liberty which our Founding Fathers wisely asserted as most fundamental to our nation's existence.”