The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) met with 25 other major religious pro-life and health care organisations on 19 April to ask the United States Chamber of Representatives to adopt the Conscience Protection Act (H.R. 4828). The signatories include ten medical groups representing tens of thousands of health professionals refusing to practice abortions and seeking legal protection to exercise conscience when treating patients.
“Federal laws protecting conscientious objection to abortion have been approved for decades by Congresses and Presidents of both parties. Even many ‘pro-choice’ Americans realise that the logic of their position requires them to respect a choice not to be involved in abortion,”they wrote. “Yet it is increasingly clear that the current laws offer far less protection in practice than in theory."
The Conscience Protection Act (HR 4828), presented on 22 March by John Fleming and Vicky Hartzler, deals with several “loopholes” in current Federal laws.This would mean “almost no change in the substantive policy of Congress; but it would be an enormous step forward in assuring Americans who serve the sick and needy that they can do so without being forced by government to violate their most deeply held convictions on respect for innocent human life.”