November 22, 2021
Webster Joins Colleagues to Defend Rights of Healthcare Providers
Washington, DC – Florida Congressman Daniel Webster (R-Clermont) joined Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) and 98 colleagues to introduce the Conscience Protection Act, which would strengthen the rights of healthcare providers to object to medical procedures, namely abortion, that they hold serious moral or religious objections to.
“Life is our most precious gift and an unalienable right promised to every American in our Declaration of Independence. Sadly, my Democratic colleagues and the current administration are now pushing policies and abandoning bipartisan provisions that protect the right to life,“ said Congressman Webster. “I have fought to defend the rights of the unborn and to protect the religious liberties of thousands of healthcare professionals opposed to abortion. I will not waver in this fight.“
Currently, enforcement of existing federal conscience statutes relies on action from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and recent moves by the Biden Administration have made clear that they have little interest in protecting employees from discrimination should they morally or religiously object to participating in certain medical procedures. The Conscience Protection Act would, among other provisions, provide a private right of action for employees to defend their conscience rights in court by suing their employer if punished or terminated for registering moral or religious objections.
For the full bill text, click here. An identical version was introduced by Senator Lankford (R-OK) in February 2021. What others are saying about the bill:
“It is hard to imagine a more blatant civil rights violation that being forced to abandon your beliefs and take part in ending an innocent human life. HHS found that the University of Vermont Medical Center forced a nurse, against her known religious beliefs, to do just that. This is not only fundamentally wrong, but a direct violation of federal law. Yet the Department of Justice voluntarily dismissed the case against UVMC,” said William E. Lori, Archbishop of Baltimore and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “We have said before that the need for the Conscience Protection Act cannot be questioned. The need is more vital now than ever. The Department of Justice is clearly signaling that conscience rights violations in health care can be violated with impunity. We call on Congress to stand up for the basic dignity of our nation’s health care workers and pass the Conscience Protection Act so that doctors and nurses can defend their own rights in court.”
“We are proud to stand with Congressman Harris – a staunch defender of unborn life and pro-life Americans – as he reintroduces the Conscience Protection Act,” said the Honorable Marilyn Musgrave, Vice President of Government Affairs for Susan B. Anthony List. “We’re thankful that the bill has been fortified and now includes pharmacists in its definition of ‘health care providers.’ This is a welcome, necessary response to the Biden administration’s reckless attempts to turn every post office and pharmacy into an abortion center by forcing dangerous chemical abortion drugs on innocent women who need help and care – not a prescription for a toxic abortion cocktail. This bill rightfully empowers medical professionals to protect life, not destroy it.”
“Conscience rights for medical professionals are under threat like never before under the Biden administration,” said Connor Semelsberger, Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity at Family Research Council. “No health care practitioner, no matter who is president, should be forced to perform abortions or sterilization procedures against their conscience. Thank you to Representative Harris for introducing legislation to ensure medical professionals are protected regardless of who is in charge of enforcing conscience laws.”