US Bishops Welcome Introduction of Bill to Protect Conscience

Call It an ‘Overdue Measure’ That Is ‘Especially Needed’

This week, a bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives called the Health Care Conscience Rights Act of 2013. 

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, welcomed its introduction with the following statement:

“I am grateful to Congresswoman Black and other sponsors for their leadership today. I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law. While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this Act would make such protection truly effective. This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act.”

Archbishop Lori wrote to Congress last month, urging legislation such as this. That letter considers the history of federal protections of conscience, and laments a “new, more grudging attitude in recent years toward citizens whose faith or moral principles are not in accord with the views of the current governing power.”

— — —

On the Net:

Full text of Archbishop Lori’s letter of Feb. 15: