A radical pro-abortion bill dubbed the Equality Act is scheduled for a vote in Congress next week after President Joe Biden pressured lawmakers to act.
Yahoo News reports U.S. Reps. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, and Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, re-introduced the bill Thursday.
“I urge Congress to swiftly pass this historic legislation,” Biden responded in a statement. “Every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and this bill represents a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.”
On the surface, the goal of the Equality Act supposedly is to protect people from discrimination. It redefines sex discrimination in federal law to include gender identity and sexual orientation.
But leading pro-life and conservative groups warned that the legislation would create a “right to demand an abortion.” They said medical workers could be forced to help abort unborn babies and taxpayers could be forced to fund their deaths.
The deceptively-named Equality Act “contains language amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that could be construed to create a right to demand abortion from health care providers, and likely would place at risk the authority of state and federal government to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions. If enacted, this legislation could be used as a powerful tool to challenge any and all state abortion restrictions,” according to the National Right to Life Committee.
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The Post Millennial reports the Democrat-controlled U.S. House likely will pass the bill, as it did in 2019. However, its fate is less certain in the U.S. Senate.
On Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a pro-abortion Democrat, said the bill could get bipartisan support in the House, IRJ reports.
“This is something very exciting for us, Equality Act. We passed it, of course before and hopefully, now it will be passed into law in the Senate,” Pelosi said. “It will have bipartisan support.”
Mary Beth Waddell, of the Family Research Council, said the legislation will harm the very people it claims to help.
“This bill … politicizes the medical profession and denies biological reality, harming those it claims to protect. It could also be the most pro-abortion legislation to pass the House in a decade, dramatically expanding abortion access and jeopardizing long-standing federal conscience laws,” Waddell said. “All Americans should strongly speak out against what is actually the ‘Inequality Act.’”
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, has been a leading advocate against the extreme measure.
H.R. 5 defines “sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” The term “related medical condition” means “abortion.” In the case Doe v. C.A.R.S., the Third Circuit stated, “We now hold that the term “related medical conditions” includes an abortion.” Furthermore, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces Title VII, interprets abortion to be covered as a “related medical condition.”
To further clarify, the bill goes on to state:
(b): Rules.—In a covered title referred to in subsection (a)—“(1) (with respect to sex) pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions;…
In other words, a provider may not withhold a “treatment option,” including ending the life of an unborn baby.
Terry Schilling, executive director at American Principles Project, also warned about the pro-abortion bill, which Vice President Kamala Harris sponsored as a senator.
“Catholic hospitals must bend the knee to Harris’s radical ideology or be shut down. Catholic doctors whose faith prohibits them from facilitating abortions, sterilizations, or sex changes must be forced to comply,” Schilling wrote in August at The Federalist.
Biden included the Equality Act as a top legislative priority for his first 100 days in office on his campaign website.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Susan B. Anthony List, March for Life Action and other pro-life groups also are urging lawmakers to reject the bill.