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N.C. Bishops Call on Catholics to Support Conscience Protection Rights

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Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

The right to life and the freedom to exercise one's religious and moral beliefs in the medical field without discrimination are being challenged in a new way and we are asking for your help in contacting federal government regulators about this issue.

First, a little background. In December 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approved a regulation to protect the rights of doctors, nurses and other health care providers who object, on moral or religious grounds, to performing or assisting in abortions or other medical procedures in health care facilities that receive federal funding. Laws protecting the consciences of health care workers from discrimination in the workplace were first enacted in the early 1970s and this latest regulation added a layer of protection.

On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services made a proposal to rescind the December 2008 regulation, putting at risk the legal protection that doctors and other medical personnel who object to performing or assisting in abortions or other medical procedures have enjoyed for decades.

But the March 10th proposal hasn't been finalized and here is where you can help. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is seeking input from the public on its proposal to rescind the regulation and will accept feedback through April 10. Please click on the link below and let our government know that you do not want to rescind the regulation that was enacted last December and that you want to protect the right of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who make the life affirming decision not to participate in abortions or other objectionable medical procedures based on their moral or religious beliefs.

You can learn more about this situation by visiting the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Sincerely,

The Most Reverend Peter J. Jugis
Bishop of Charlotte

The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge
Bishop of Raleigh