Obama Hits Abortion Conscience Clause But Pro-Lifers Can Respond

Opinion   Tony Perkins   Mar 1, 2011   |   11:51AM    Washington, DC

President Obama may believe in a woman’s right to choose, but what about a doctor’s? Or a nurse’s? Or a pharmacist’s?

Two weeks ago, the administration made it clear that when it comes to abortion drugs, they don’t believe in giving health care workers a choice. After two years, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) made good on its threat to force the health care industry to dole out drugs that end a human life.

Earlier this month, Obama officials stripped away protections for the medical community that had been in place since the end of President Bush’s second term. Despite 187,000 comments on the HHS website opposing this rule change, the administration ignored the views of health community–much like it’s doing now by rolling back these conscience exemptions.

Starting next month, it won’t matter if you object to pill that can destroy a human life–as a health worker, you will still have to dispense them. Under the new rules, HHS officials basically handcuff medical employees to the President’s abortion agenda. The administration insists that access to “contraception” is a constitutional right. But the problem is that drugs like Plan B and ella also act as abortifacients. And for seven out of ten pharmacists, that poses a serious ethical dilemma.

“We’re already facing critical shortages of primary care physicians,” said Dr. J. Scott Ries of the Christian Medical Association, “and the Obama administration’s decision [will] make the situation far worse for patients across the country who depend on faith-based care.” If health professionals have to choose between being coerced and finding another job, most say they would walk away from the field.

But if House Republicans get their way, they won’t have to.

As part of H.R. 3, the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” Reps. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) promise to do what the Obama administration will not: protect the rights of health care workers permanently. Together with Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pa.) “Protect Life Act” (H.R. 358) and Dr. John Fleming’s (R-La.) “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act” (H.R. 361), these bills would stop a pro-abortion President like Obama from reaching into the medical community and using people’s moral convictions against them.

Instead, this legislation would expand the exemptions that HHS is rolling back. Of course, it would also build a wall between taxpayer dollars and pro-abortion programs. Right now, that wall is called the Hyde Amendment–but unfortunately, it has to be reauthorized every year to stay in effect. H.R. 3 would save Congress from that annual fight and strengthen the language that already exists.

This Wednesday, members of the House Judiciary Committee will be hosting a mark-up of the bill before its first vote. If your representative is on the Committee, give them a call today and ask them to make their attendance at the hearing a priority. Also, H.R. 3 is just a few cosponsors shy of 218. Once it hits that number, the legislation is guaranteed to have a floor vote and pass. Check this list to see if your member’s name is missing. If it is, contact the office and ask them to get on board the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion” Act.

LifeNews.com Note: Tony Perkins is the president of the Family Research Council and a former member of the Louisiana state legislature.