WASHINGTON, D.C (7/19/12) – Americans United for Life Action President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest commended Chairmen Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Hal Rogers (R-KY) and Members of the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee for their leadership and commitment to defending life and the freedom of conscience in the law. “The Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee passed this week what should be a non-negotiable in all appropriations bills moving forward: the protection of freedom of conscience,” said Dr. Yoest. “First Amendment freedoms should not be discarded by the whim of the abortion lobby.”
The Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2013 contains two key provisions that protect Americans’ freedom of conscience. The bill includes the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which would prevent discrimination against a healthcare entity who refuses to perform, provide coverage of, or pay for abortions based on conscience, as well as provide a private right of action giving victims of discrimination recourse to defend their rights in court.
The bill also includes a provision prohibiting funding for the enforcement of any provision of the Affordable Care Act that mandates insurance coverage of items or services contrary to a purchaser or issuer’s moral, religious, or ethical beliefs.
“We are proud to have leaders like Chairmen Rehberg and Rogers representing us in Congress,” Dr. Yoest stated, “and we commend them for their commitment to ensuring these important conscience protections remain in this bill that ensure the American people are not forced to violate their deeply held religious, moral, or ethical beliefs.”
The LHHS bill, which passed out of the Subcommittee on Wednesday, must be approved by the full House Appropriations Committee and the House of Representatives before it is sent to the Senate for its approval.
“Without our First Amendment Freedom of Conscience protected, no American will be truly free,” said Dr. Yoest. “I ask the Members of Congress to join with AUL to defend our freedoms and to safeguard our rights of conscience.”
AUL has been defending the First Amendment Conscience Rights of Americans throughout its 40 year history. To learn more about AUL’s educational campaign to protect rights of conscience, click here.