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I used to think we were a nation committed to freedom of conscience. Heck, I used to think we had a body of law effectively defending that freedom. After the events of the past few months, I'm not so sure. Consider:
Add one detail and you will see the whole picture: As interpreted by the Obama administration, victims of discrimination can defend their rights under current conscience laws only by appealing to HHS – the same department that is actively suppressing pro-life Americans' rights of conscience in these last two examples. See why the perpetrators in the first two examples aren't afraid of the law?
There is a solution. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA) would close loopholes in current law and provide clear support for victims' right to sue in court. The House of Representatives has included the text of ANDA in its draft Labor/HHS appropriations bill, expected to be one of the last bills passed at the end of this year – but pro-abortion members in House and Senate are trying to block it. You can tell them what you think about that by visiting the site of the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (www.nchla.org) and acting on its latest alert on conscience rights. Who knows? You may help preserve your own local doctor's or hospital's right to provide care.
Mr. Doerflinger is Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.To learn more about the Catholic bishops' activities on conscience protection, visit www.usccb.org/conscience.
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