Huelskamp Defends our Time-Honored Right of Conscience: No One Should be Forced to Pay for Abortions

Press Release

Date: July 13, 2016
Issues: Abortion

On Wednesday, the Conscience Protection Act, a bill cosponsored by Congressman Tim Huelskamp (KS-01), passed the House. The Conscience Protection Act would ensure that no American is forced to pay for abortion coverage in their healthcare plan or participate or refer for abortions against their conscience.

On the House floor, Huelskamp spoke in favor of the prolife legislation: "No American should be forced to participate in an abortion or be coerced to purchase a healthcare plan that includes abortion."

On the passage of the legislation Huelskamp made the following statements:

"We all know that President Obama has a record of lawlessness. Now his Administration is ignoring clear federal law and is instead allowing California to force pro-life Americans and churches to pay for abortion. I am appalled by this shocking attack on conscience rights, yet not surprised. For nearly 8 years any time the President does not like a law, he simply ignores it.

"No one should be forced to participate in the gruesome act of abortion and no entity, especially a church, should be forced to violate their deeply held beliefs and pay for abortion. It is an outrage -- it is a violation of the 1st Amendment -- and it is simply wrong. I am grateful that the House passed our bill, and I urge the Senate to act immediately on this important piece of legislation."

Every year since 2004, Congress has passed the Weldon Amendment as part of the Labor Health and Human Services spending bill. The Weldon Amendment ensures that the government cannot discriminate against any entity based solely on the fact that they do not provide abortions or abortion coverage. However, states such as California have mandated that ALL healthcare plans, even those offered by churches and other religious institutions, must include elective abortion coverage in their plan benefits. This is a clear violation of federal law and a blatant attack on conscience rights. Yet, President Obama's Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a statement refusing to enforce the law and allowing California to continue on with this illegal, un-American mandate.

The Conscience Protection Act would make the Weldon Amendment permanent in federal law and ensure that Americans discriminated against by their government because of being pro-life have a private right of action and are able to have their day in court.