Washington D.C., Sep 7, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Three Catholic leaders, including Catholic medical doctors and a USCCB official, are urging Congress to maintain “conscience-protection” language in current legislation, which would will allow Catholic health care facilities to continue refraining from providing abortions.
The full House will soon take up the Labor/HHS appropriations bill for the upcoming fiscal year and these Catholic leaders fear that there may be an effort to strike the conscience-protection language that is now part of that bill’s Hyde Amendment on abortion funding.
“We urge you to oppose any effort to strike it,” they said in the letter. “This additional language is urgently needed to counteract a nationwide effort to attack the conscience rights of religious and other health care providers.”
As examples of the need for such protection language, the Catholic leaders cited hospitals in Alaska, New Jersey, and New Mexico, which were discriminated against because of their pro-life policies.