This past June, the Obama administration ruled that churches in California would be subject to a regulation that required them to pay for abortions.
Rep. Chris Smith, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus issued a statement explaining a ruling by the HHS Office of Civil Rights.
“This means that Californians, including churches, will continue to be forced to pay for elective abortions in their insurance plans,” Smith wrote.
But House Republicans are doing their best to stop the president’s efforts. He is forcing organizations with deeply held religious convictions to pay for abortions.
The House of Representatives just passed a bill that would stop the Obama administration from forcing churches to pay for abortions.
Today the House of Representatives passed a key pro-life bill to protect the conscience rights of pro-life Americans so they are not forced to be involved with abortions by either paying for them or being required to assist in them as medical workers.
Today, the House voted 245 to 182 to vote for the Conscience Protection Act with Republicans voting 242-1 for it and Democrats voting 181-3 against it. Three Democrats voted in favor of the bill (Cuellar, Lipinski, Peterson), and one Republican (Hanna) voted against the bill.
In one of the most egregious examples of the problem the bill seeks to address, churches in California are officially subject to an onerous state regulation that requires them to pay for abortions, thanks to a ruling by the Obama administration last month.
Pro-life advocates celebrated the bill’s passage.
“State agencies in California and New York are mandating insurance coverage of abortion, and the Obama Administration recently made it clear that it will not enforce federal laws that prohibit such mandates,” said Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life. “The Conscience Protection Act will allow direct access to the federal courts for the victims of coercive pro-abortion government policies.”
During a debate of the legislation, Speaker Paul Ryan boiled it down to simple terms.
“No one should be forced to violate their conscience—least of all by the federal government,” he said. “That’s all this bill says.”
Cross-posted at the Political Insider