Speaker Ryan Leads Charge on Pro-Life Conscience Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2016
Contact: Mallory Quigley, mquigley@sba-list.org 202-223-8073

House Passes Conscience Protection Act to Protect Health Care Professionals from Abortion Coercion

Washington, D.C. – This afternoon the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conscience Protection Act. The legislation, a top priority for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), would make the Weldon Amendment permanent law in order to protect health care professionals from being forced to take part in abortions, directly or indirectly.

SBA List and other pro-life groups have been pressing for a vote on this legislation for years, and praised Speaker Ryan for taking swift action following HHS’ decision last month to unilaterally reinterpret the Weldon Amendment in order to allow California to force churches to purchase healthcare plans that cover abortion on-demand.

Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said:

“For decades, conscience has been an area of public policy consensus. Even those who support Roe used to agree that Americans who object to abortion should not be forced to participate in it or subsidize its costs. That longstanding consensus is now under attack from the Obama Administration and others on the left. Speaker Ryan’s quick action to counter this attack demonstrates exactly the kind of pro-life leadership we are looking for. We thank him for fighting back and offering Americans real protections.

“It is a gross violation of our First Amendment freedoms that a pro-life nurse would be forced to assist during a late-term abortion at 22 weeks – even be forced to go through the body parts of the child – or else risk being fired. Similarly, Americans should not be forced into providing or purchasing health care plans that cover abortion on-demand against their deeply held beliefs.

“Today’s vote puts us one step closer to restoring the conscience protections once secured for us by our Founding Fathers. We are grateful for the leadership of Speaker Ryan, Leader McCarthy, and Representatives Diane Black and John Fleming for leading the charge on this vital legislation.”

A new Marist Poll released today shows a majority (56 percent to 37 percent) of Americans believe medical professionals and organizations should be able to opt out of abortion procedures and coverage.

The Susan B. Anthony List and its Political Action Committees, the SBA List Candidate Fund and Women Speak Out PAC, spent $16.71 million in the 2014 election cycle to defeat pro-abortion incumbents and elect pro-life candidates to federal and statewide office. The SBA List is dedicated to pursuing policies and electing candidates who will reduce and ultimately end abortion. To that end, the SBA List emphasizes the education, promotion, mobilization, and election of pro-life women. The SBA List is a network of more than 465,000 pro-life Americans nationwide. 

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