Congressmen Call for Conscience Protection

Two members of Congress have called on President Barack Obama to make good on something he said in his May 17 speech to University of Notre Dame graduates, namely that he wished to "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion." At a May 19 press conference in Washington, D.C., and in a letter sent that day to the president, Representatives James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., and Chris Smith, R-N.J., urged Obama to forgo rescinding the Bush administration's conscience-protection regulation. They also asked Obama to "commit to defending conscience protections in future rule-making."

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services proposed to rescind the conscience clause that gives federal protection to the conscience rights of health care providers. The rule, which took effect two days before Obama took office, codifies three longtime federal statutes prohibiting discrimination against health professionals who decline to participate in abortions or other medical procedures because of their religious or moral objections. The congressmen's letter stressed that Obama should use all the tools at his disposal "to keep conscience protections in place and reduce the number of abortions in the United States."

Advertisement
Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Join Kirsten Powers, CNN analyst and USA Today columnist, and Rev. James Martin, S.J., Editor at Large of America Media and New York Times best-selling author, for a live show celebrating the 100th episode of Jesuitical.
America Media EventsApril 24, 2019

Some three months before Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder of the lunar module and left his footprints upon the surface of the moon in July, 1969, and uttered those immortal words about it being but “one small step for man” and yet “a giant leap for mankind,” a young, brown-haired, freckle-

Joseph McAuleyApril 18, 2019
You give us hope when we’re reporting on challenging issues in the church.
James Cappabianca April 18, 2019
For decades, Lopez has sought to re-establish our ethical relationships with the land and the other creatures who dwell on it. But Lopez, like many authors, struggles against labels.
Vincent J. MillerApril 18, 2019