May 16, 2013

Ask Your U.S. Representative to Protect Conscience Rights

Organizations across the country are encouraging people to contact their U.S. representatives today asking them to support a bill that would protect conscience rights for nonprofit and faith-based institutions.

Lawmakers introduced the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA) measure in March. The legislation would provide full exemption on religious or moral grounds from the Obama administration's Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring most employers to offer potential abortion-induction drugs in their employee health plans. It would also ensure protection for individuals and health care organizations that choose not to offer, pay for, or refer patients to abortion sellers because of their religious convictions.

"If (HCCRA) passes this summer, it puts an end to the problems with the HHS mandate, which is one of the biggest crises of the First Amendment that the Obama administration has put the though," Connie Marshner, chair of 101 Meeting, told CitizenLink. The District of Columbia religious freedom group spearheaded today's mass email campaign urging organizations and individuals to contact their representatives.

The Obama administration required most for-profit employers to comply with the HHS mandate by August 2012. Faith-based organizations — including some hospitals and universities — have a "safe harbor" until August of this year.

Sixty lawsuits are in play with more than 190 parties. Thirty-one of those involve for-profit business. In 19 of those cases judges granted injunctions temporarily halting the mandate for those companies.

CitizenLink is among the organizations encouraging people to contact their representatives.

"It's easy to get discouraged by the decisions made by our elected officials.  Too many times they vote against the value of life, marriage and family," said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of Issues Analysis for CitizenLink.  "Yet, when we engage in making our voices heard, our first motivation should be to exercise our right to do just that — be a voice for the biblical values we care about.  It's important for all elected officials — regardless of party affiliation or past votes — to hear from their constituents. That's how our system of government works."  

Take Action to Protect Conscience Rights

Ask your Member of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act — and to make sure it comes to a vote before July 4. You can email through our action center or call the U.S. Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121


Learn more about H.R. 940.

Read "Conscience rights protect patients and health care professionals."