Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Catholic Senators Decisive Factor in Denying Conscience Protection

 This news from The Catholic Key makes my blood boil: 

Bottom line: Both conscience protection and a ban of federal funding would have passed but for the Catholic Senators.
News came out earlier today, that the Senate Finance Committee led by Senator Max Baucus refused to accept an amendment proposed by Senator Orrin Hatch specifically excluding federal funding of abortion in that committee’s version of health care reform. The vote was 10-13 against the Hatch Amendment. All Democrats on the committee, except Kent Conrad, opposed the amendment. All Republicans, except Olympia Snowe, supported it.

There is nothing surprising about the vote. Far more disturbing was a later vote by the same margin denying conscience protection to doctors, health care facilities and hospitals which refuse to perform abortions. Thirteen Senators, including Catholics John Kerry, Maria Cantwell and Robert Menendez, voted against a second Hatch Amendment which would have protected Catholics and other conscientious objectors to abortion from discrimination by the Federal Government.

Here are the Senators who opposed both amendments (Catholics in red):


Stop Hyding! Abortion and Health Care Reform

Without authentic language to exclude abortion coverage from health care reform, the federal government will be promoting abortion on-demand.

Don't let the pro-abortion politicians get away with claiming the Hyde Amendment prevents this. It's time they Stop Hyding!

Susan B. Anthony List: Hyde Amendment:  Federal taxpayer dollars cannot be used to subsidize abortion on-demand

Hatch amendment fails; abortion funding is in bill

Despite our best efforts, the Senate Finance Committee today voted down the Hatch Amendment which would have prohibited abortion funding in the health care bill.

"This action leaves no doubt that the health care bill that will come to the Senate floor in a few weeks will contain provisions that would result in massive subsidies for abortion coverage," Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee said.

Johnson told after the vote the battles to stop abortion funding are not over as "the full Senate will have to vote on the pro-abortion subsidies, and other pro-abortion components as well."

We must continue to oppose any version of this bill since innocent lives will be ended with our tax dollars.

Read the entire story at Life News.

Protecting Access for Poor Patients, CMA Physicians Support Conscience Provisions in Alternative Healthcare Bill

The 16,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA,, the nation's largest association of faith-based physicians, today voiced support for the conscience-protecting provisions in the "Empowering Patients First Act," a bill introduced by Rep. Tom Price (R-GA 6th). CMA contended that the protections are needed to avoid a potentially catastrophic loss of faith-based healthcare on which millions of poor patients depend.

In a letter sent to Rep. Price today regarding the bill (HR 3400), CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens noted, "The Christian Medical Association is very concerned that some in Congress and the White House appear to be pursuing a conscience-hostile approach to healthcare legislation, opposing amendment after amendment that would provide solid--not rhetorically deceptive--conscience protections.
"Lawmakers must realize that threatening or minimizing conscience protections holds the potential to create a catastrophic shortage of healthcare access, especially for poor patients. Our national polling (available online at reveals that 95 percent of faith-based physicians are prepared to leave medicine altogether rather than violate their conscientiously held ethical convictions."

Dr. Stevens wrote, "As you know, President Obama has announced plans to rescind the relatively new federal provider conscience regulation, which also provides for such a reporting mechanism. It is imperative, therefore, to enact legislation that protects conscience rights from the whims of any administration that might minimize the opportunity to address civil rights violations related to conscience."
Dr. Stevens thanked Rep. Price for recognizing the need for strong, true and broad conscience protections.

"The bill [Sec. 106 Part (d) of HR 3400] also provides a critical component of conscience protections. Many healthcare professionals encounter pressure to violate ethical codes on many issues besides abortion. HR 3400 addresses this reality by offering appropriately broad conscientious protection 'to accommodate the conscientious objection of a purchaser or an individual or institutional health care provider when a procedure is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of such purchaser or provider.'"

In his letter, Dr. Stevens also noted the benefit of designating the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a reporting outlet for healthcare professionals experiencing discrimination for their conscientious stance on ethical issues.

"Besides protecting any individual or institutional health care entity from discrimination 'on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions,' the bill also provides the crucial implementation avenue needed to make such protection effective."

~ Via Christian Newswire.