NRLC Urges Congress to support Conscience Protection Act FY18 Appropriations Bill

Dear Member of Congress:

The National Right to Life Committee, the federation of state right-to-life organizations, strongly urges your support for the Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 644). Congress must pass a government-wide FY18 appropriations bill by March 23, when current spending authority expires. National Right to Life urges that the Conscience Protection Act be enacted as part of this bill.

The Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed because of a growing number of actions by some state governments to compel participation in abortions by health care providers and others.

In 2014, the California Department of Managed Care issued a decree mandating that nearly all health plans in the state must cover all abortions. This directive was in blatant violation of the Weldon Amendment, a provision of the HHS appropriations bill that has been in continuous effect since 2004. Unfortunately, the 2014 California directive is part of a broader trend. An agency of the state of New York has already adopted an abortion mandate, similar to the California policy, requiring small group employers to cover all kinds of abortion. In 2017, Oregon became the first state to mandate abortion coverage at no cost in a state statute.

The Conscience Protection Act would prohibit any level of government from mandating that health care providers participate in abortion. It would protect doctors, nurses, hospitals, and health plans (and employers who purchase the plans). Most importantly, the bill empowers those who are affected by abortion mandates to file private lawsuits in federal courts.

Nobody should be forced to participate in the brutal act of killing an unborn child. Please work for inclusion of the Conscience Protection Act in the upcoming FY18 appropriations bill.

Should you have any questions, please contact us at 202-626-8820, or via e-mail at federallegislation@nrlc.org.

Respectfully,

Jennifer Popik, J.D.
Legislative Director