Amy McInerny, Executive Director
National Committee for a Human Life Amendment
What if you spent years training to help the sick as a nurse – only to find that to keep your job you must take part in the killing of a defenseless five-month-old unborn child?
What if a church in your town lived up to its teaching on healing the sick by providing its employees with excellent health coverage – but was told that is illegal, unless it pays for abortions that violate its teaching on life itself?
These are not projections of a nightmare future. Rather, each of these things happened recently in our country – and will keep happening, unless we stand up as citizens and demand a change in the law.
The nurse is Cathy DeCarlo, who was forced to assist in an elective late-term abortion at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on threat of being fired. The experience gave her nightmares and emotional trauma, so she filed suit to keep it from happening to others. But the court dismissed her case: The federal law protecting her rights could only be enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). That agency sat on the case for three years, then declared it resolved after the hospital changed its policy. Cathy never had her day in court, and she and other health care providers remain vulnerable. You can see her story here.
It is the California department of managed health care that has ordered almost all health coverage statewide – even when provided by churches and other religious organizations – to include unlimited abortion coverage. California’s mandate violates a federal law known as the Weldon amendment, but the federal agency assigned to enforce it has taken no action since complaints were filed over a year ago. We don’t want other states to follow California’s lead.
A solution is available and we should be part of it. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) will close loopholes in existing law and provide a private right of action so that healthcare providers, like Cathy, can defend their rights in court. It is now part of the House of Representatives’ appropriations bill for funding HHS. By December, Congress needs to pass a law funding government programs in Fiscal Year 2016 – and this urgently needed reform should be part of that final bill. We must speak up now to protect our cherished right of conscience.
Thank you for acting in defense of life and liberty. Tell everyone you know to join us in raising our voices. Together we will be heard!