UPDATED: Smith to Host Press Conference on Conscience Protection Act

WASHINGTON, DC—Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) will host a press conference tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. on the Conscience Protection Act of 2017, which would uphold the conscience rights of health care providers, religious charities, and churches who are being forced to participate in or provide coverage for abortions.

Nurses who have been forced, against their religious beliefs, to participate in abortions at hospitals will also be present alongside members of Congress to tell their own stories of fighting against discriminatory health care policies, and to advocate for the passage of the Conscience Protection Act. Current federal law does not sufficiently protect the conscience rights of health care professionals and others.

The Conscience Protection Act passed the House as part of the FY18 House appropriations package (H.R. 3354). (The text is identical to H.R. 644 by Rep. Diane Black and S.301, by Senator Lankford). Supporters are hoping to pass it as part of the appropriations bill for the 2018 fiscal year. It would provide a private right of action to those who are victims of abortion discrimination,, allowing them to take their case to court.

Who:
Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
Senator James Lankford (R-OK), sponsor of S.301, the Conscience Protection Act
Rep. Trent Franks (AZ-08), co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus
Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus
Rep. Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
Cathy DeCarlo, Nurse, forced against her religious beliefs to participate in an abortion
Sandra Mendoza, Nurse, lost her job because she refused to assist with abortions
Fe Vinoya, Nurse, threatened with loss of her job for refusing to assist with abortions
Representatives from the Pro-Life Organizations including: Kellie Fiedorek with Alliance Defending Freedom, Greg Schleppenbach with United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, a representative with Susan B. Anthony List, Jennifer Popik with National Right to Life, Jeanne Mancini with March for Life, Andrew Guernsey with the Family Research Council, Tim Saccoccia with Knights of Columbus, Matthew Hawkins with The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Jaime Ballew with Concerned Women for America.

What:
Press Conference on Conscience Protection Act

When:
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017, at 10 AM

Where:
House Triangle (located outside the U.S. Capitol building on the House side)