On March 5, 2013, three members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a bill to protect conscience rights for both workers in the health care industry and for employers in light of the federal mandate requiring employers to cover contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs. The bill would also protect institutions and individuals from forced participation in abortion. A total of 50 members co-signed the proposal.
One of the sponsors, Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said it is possible that the bill, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, could be folded into a continuing resolution being considered by the House to keep the federal government operating beyond March 27.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is supporting an initiative by the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment requesting the Catholic faithful to contact their Members of Congress. The request is to urge them to support House bill H.R. 940 and help ensure its enactment as part of “must-pass” legislation. Members of the House should also be asked to co-sponsor the bill that is aimed at protecting religious freedom and the moral convictions of all.