...Similar to the Hyde Amendment, the Weldon Amendment protects the individual consciences of all Americans by prohibiting federal, state, and local governments from discriminating against health care entities that decline to provide, perform, or refer a patient for an abortion. This provision has been attached to annual appropriations bills and signed into law since 1976.
Recently, however, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services refused to enforce this law. OCR has allowed the State of California to require elective abortion coverage in all health insurance plans under their authority. This means churches and universities that object to abortion are being forced to cover abortion through the insurance plans they offer to employees. New York has followed suit, implementing a similar abortion mandate. The federal government has neglected its responsibility, denying these victims any relief from this injustice...
Currently, the only recourse against this discrimination is to file a complaint with OCR. In light of its extremely slow response to straightforward complaints or its outright refusal to execute the law, something had to be done. The House this week passed the Conscience Protection Act.
This bill stops the federal government, and any state or local government that receives Federal funds from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not participate in abortion.
Further, this bill provides a civil right to action for those discriminated against, including physicians, health professionals, hospitals, health systems, insurance issuers, insurance plans, and administrators of health plans, among others. They deserve a choice. They deserve their day in court.
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