Tuesday, March 5, 2013

FRC Urges Congress to Pass Health Care Conscience Rights Act

March 05, 2013

NASHVILLE, TN - Family Research Council (FRC) hosted a news conference at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee today to discuss the need for conscience protections for religious business owners and individuals from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services mandate on abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives. FRC President Tony Perkins and FRC Executive Vice President Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry Boykin were joined by Janet Parshall, radio host for Moody Radio, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. of Hope Christian Church and Dr. Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to discuss the HHS mandate that employers cover abortion-causing drugs, sterilizations and contraceptives in their health insurance plans, even if those employers have religious convictions against such coverage.

During the press conference, Perkins expressed support for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (HCCRA), introduced yesterday by U.S. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) to protect the religious liberties of anyone who purchases health insurance, including non-profits, businesses and individuals, as well as providing greater protections for health care workers who refuse to participate in abortion. Rep. Black joined the press conference at NRB by video.

In a letter earlier this week FRC and other organizations urged U.S. House of Representatives leaders to include conscience protection language in the Continuing Resolution (CR) currently before Congress.

Of the conscience bill and the CR, Perkins said:

"We are disappointed that the Health Care Conscience Rights Act wasn't placed in the Continuing Resolution, but we continue to urge Members to push for its inclusion. This bill's language must be included in must-pass legislation to ensure that the First Amendment-guaranteed religious liberties of all Americans are protected. Failure to include it will result in thousands of religious organizations being forced to comply or face severe fines for maintaining their religious convictions."

To hear audio of today's press conference, click here: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF13C11.pdf

To read the letter to U.S. House of Representatives leaders, click here: http://frcblog.com/media/filer/2013/03/05/nrb_pressconf_030512.mp3