Sensenbrenner and Ryan Defend the Rights of Pro-Life Employees

Press Release

Date: Jan. 7, 2009
Location: Washington, DC

Sensenbrenner and Ryan Defend the Rights of Pro-Life Employees

Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) and Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) raised concerns today with a proposal to allow abortions at a University of Wisconsin health center in Madison. With UW Health officials seeking to clear the way for second-trimester abortions to be performed at the Madison Surgery Center, Sensenbrenner and Ryan wrote to the UW Hospitals and Clinics (UWHC), indicating their serious concerns with the proposal.

In addition to the reprehensible affront to human dignity, Sensenbrenner and Ryan called into the question the impact of such a policy on the rights of pro-life employees. Federal law protects the conscience rights of physicians and health care professionals at facilities supported by federal funds. The Wisconsin congressmen asked for assurances from UWHC that employees will be fully informed of, and respected in, their right to refuse to participate in abortions, as federal and state law guarantees.

"Not only is UWHC's plan morally reprehensible, it is potentially illegal," said Sensenbrenner. "It is deeply disturbing to hear reports of employees being pressured or forced to violate their conscience by participating in the killing of preborn, developed babies. Doctors and other health care providers shouldn't have to check their consciences at the hospital door."

"Such a flagrant disrespect for the rights of the unborn is deeply troubling," added Ryan. "Should University of Wisconsin officials follow through on this effort to compromise the value of human life, it is imperative that the conscience rights of pro-life employees are fully protected. This is an altogether troubling proposition."