And that’s why 105 Congressmen have co-sponsored the “Protect Life Bill,” H.R. 5111— to undo Obamacare health reform that forces all health care entities and providers to treat abortion as basic care for women, including taxpayer funding for it.
First, a pro-life victory. After a 3-year battle in the state of Washington, state attorneys announced they will accommodate pharmacists’ conscience rights.
Washington state has now conceded it does not have to restrict the religious freedoms of pharmacies and pharmacists in order to “ensure patient access” to abortion.
Under pressure from pro-abortion Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, the state pharmacy board had approved rules in 2007 making pharmacists dispense all drugs, including those that would violate their moral or religious views. Read more here.
In Kansas, hospitals and physicians do have a specific right to refuse to do abortions. However, other heath care workers (nurses, physician aides, nursing home attendants, stem cell lab workers,etc.) are without legal “conscience” protection.
Kansas pharmacists do not have clear religious or moral protection, although Kansas statute 65-1637 does allow a pharmacist to refuse ” to fill or refill any prescription if in the pharmacist’s professional judgment and discretion such pharmacist is of the opinion that it should not be filled or refilled.”
This summer, Arizona Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted announced the ex-communication of a nun for allowing an abortion in a Catholic hospital. The mother was suffering heart trouble related to her pregnancy and was in need of specialized attention, not abortion. After a flood of misinformation about how pregnant women were cared for in Catholic hospitals, the American bishops released a clarification entitled: The Distinction between Direct Abortion and Legitimate Medical Procedures.
In response to the Arizona situation, the ACLU sent a letter to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, demanding the agency crack down on hospitals receiving government funds that deny patients what the ACLU considers to be “emergency reproductive care” (a euphemism for abortion). The letter asks federal officials to interpret the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid — which require hospitals to provide appropriate medical care to all patients. In other words,
cut funding to religious hospitals that won’t knuckle under.
Obama already assured Planned Parenthood during his presidential campaign that he believes abortion is ordinary health care. As further proof, his health agency director, former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius, collaborated with Planned Parenthood to unseat the pro-life state attorney general who was prosecuting their Kansas clinic.
On April 22, 2010, pro-life Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.) introduced the Protect Life Act, an NRLC-backed bill that would repeal and correct all of the pro-abortion components of Obamacare health reform–including the violations against health care workers’ conscience rights. U.S. Senate candidate, Congressman Todd Tiahrt was an original co-sponsor and Congressman Jerry Moran has joined as a co-sponsor.