House Democrats today passed the Equality Act, a misnamed bill that would create a so-called “right” to kill babies in abortions and force Americans to fund them. Voting 224-206, largely along party lines, the House of Representatives today approved H.R. 5, the Equality Act, over the objections of pro-life groups that said the legislation would be exploited to promote abortions.
The Equality Act contains language that could be construed to create a right to demand abortion from health care providers, and likely would place at risk the authority of the government to prohibit taxpayer-funded abortions.
“The very name of this legislation, ‘Equality Act,’ is an oxymoron,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “There is nothing equal about treating as second-class citizens health care practitioners who oppose abortion. Under the Equality Act, the unborn child will be the loser.”
The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by defining “sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.” It is well established that abortion is considered a “related medical condition.” H.R. 5 expands the anti-discrimination provisions in the bill by stating that “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions,” and would add “establishments that provide health care” to the list of covered “public accommodations.”
The pro-abortion National Partnership for Women and Families states, “Women would also be able to challenge denials of reproductive health care.”
“If enacted, H.R. 5 would open the door for widespread litigation wherein any attempt to restrict abortion, including the funding of abortion, would constitute discrimination,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., director of federal legislation for the National Right to Life Committee.
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She told LifeNews.com that provisions in H.R. 5 would apply to individual health care providers who object to abortion, including those with religious objections. The bill explicitly overrides the protections that are contained in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
“Forcing health care providers to perform abortions in violation of their conscience rights clearly violates the Constitution,” said NRLC President Carol Tobias. “But pro-abortion forces and their allies in Congress are more concerned about expanding access to abortion.”
The nation’s Catholic bishops also opposed the bill over its abortion promotion provisions and the five leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to federal lawmakers on Tuesday outlining their opposition to the bill.
“Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” the bishops said. “It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none.”
The bishops’ opposition and that of many other pro-life, conservative and religious leaders comes in reaction to President Joe Biden’s and Democrat leaders’ plans to push the pro-abortion bill through Congress.
On the surface, the goal of the Equality Act (House Resolution 5) supposedly is to protect people from discrimination. It would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to redefine sex discrimination 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 bishops said the legislation includes “an abortion mandate, a violation of precious rights to life and conscience.”
“Human dignity is central to what Catholics believe because every person is made in the image of God and should be treated accordingly, with respect and compassion,” they continued. “This commitment is reflected in the church’s charitable service to all people, without regard to race, religion or any other characteristic.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also condemned passage of the measure.
He told LifeNews: “The Equality Act is repression masquerading as justice. It essentially takes every issue the Left feels is a sacred cow and wraps it into one bill — a legislative right to abortion on demand, special privileges for sexual orientation and gender identity, and the abolition of religious freedom.”