- Aug 9, 2020
A bill in the British Parliament would clarify the rights of conscientious objection for medical professionals, protecting them from participating in medical procedures to which their beliefs are opposed.
A new division at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will work to ensure the protection of religious freedom and conscience rights for Americans, government officials announced Thursday.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case challenging a California law that says crisis pregnancy centers must post notices about the availability of abortion and contraceptive services and provide a referral number for them in areas where they will be clearly seen on paper that is “at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in no less than 22-point type.” Centers that fail to comply are subject to fines.
The Conscience Protection Act is aimed at protecting individual physicians, nurses or other health care professionals who refuse to assist in abortions when asked to do so by their employers. According to the wording of the bill, it protects various entities, including applicants to or participants in training programs for the health professions who refuse to participate in an abortion.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, along with the Colorado Catholic Conference, the Catholic Medical Association, and other Catholic non-profits have weighed in on the case of a Colorado baker who does not wish to bake wedding cakes for same-sex ceremonies. In a statement to the court, they said the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause “guarantees every individual the right to seek the truth in religious matters and then adhere to that truth through private and public action.”
The U.S. Bishops and other organizations are backing a conscience rights bill making its way through Congress that “would be an enormous step forward in assuring Americans who serve the sick and needy that they can do so without being forced by the government to violate their most deeply held convictions on respect for innocent human life.”