Late last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop forcing pro-life and religious organizations to pay for abortion services for their employees.
Last night, the U.S. House passed a Resolution (H. J. Res 43) to disapprove of a law passed by the District of Columbia that seeks to do two things:
• Force pro-life and religious organizations to pay for abortion coverage for their employees
• Force these same organizations to employ individuals directly opposed to their beliefs
The D.C. law – the so-called “Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA)” – is in fact, discriminatory. It’s pro-abortion tyranny, it’s anti-conscience, and it’s anti-free speech.
House Speaker John Boehner said: “America was founded on the principle of religious freedom, and faith-based employers deserve the ability to hire people who share their beliefs. The measure passed by the D.C. Council, however, discriminates against religious and pro-life Americans, violates their conscience rights, and runs completely counter to the ‘free exercise’ clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. As a proud pro-life Catholic, I condemn this form of discrimination and urge the president to reconsider his veto threat of our joint resolution.”
Congresswoman Diane Black, a pro-life Tennessee Republican, was the lead sponsor of H.J. Res. 43, a resolution she authored to overturn the District of Columbia’s misnamed Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act (RHNDA). She said that, if not stopped by Congress, this unconstitutional measure could force pro-life organizations in D.C. to hire personnel that disagree with their mission and potentially pay for abortion in their healthcare plans.
A total of 225 Republicans and 3 Democrats voted down the law, but 13 Republicans joined 179 Democrats in upholding it.
Of the 13 Republicans, 5 of them are from New York – Chris Gibson (NY-19), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Tom Reed (NY-23), John Katko (NY-24) and Richard Hanna (NY-22).
Each of these Republicans, with the exception of newcomers Stefanik and Katko, score very low on the Heritage Action conservative scorecard, so it’s little surprise they voiced disapproval of this resolution.
Should the resolution pass in the Senate, President Obama has said it would be vetoed.