Lipinski Helps Lead Fight in House to Protect Conscience Rights in Health Care

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) announced his strong support as the lead Democratic cosponsor for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940) introduced this week in the House. This bill, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (TN), would guarantee Americans’ rights of conscience in regard to health care, including full exemption from the Health and Human Services’ (HHS) abortion-drug and contraception mandate and conscience protection for individuals and health care entities that refuse to provide, pay for, or refer patients to abortion providers because of their deeply-held, reasoned beliefs.

“The Health Care Conscience Rights Act is needed to protect some of the most fundamental rights for all Americans: the rights to religious liberty and conscience,” said Lipinski, co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus. “We still have not seen changes to the HHS mandate that would ensure these freedoms are preserved. I am proud to help lead the fight on this legislation and call on my colleagues in the House and Senate to take swift action.”
Rep. Lipinski has been a leading opponent of the HHS mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that would force all employers including religious-affiliated institutions (except churches) to provide insurance coverage that includes birth control and abortion-inducing drugs. In the previous Congress, he cosponsored the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, the predecessor of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act introduced this week. He also was the lead Democratic cosponsor of other critical pro-life pieces of legislation, including the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the Protect Life Act. 
“Since the HHS mandate was first introduced, we have needed a rule that protects religious liberty by allowing employers to provide health insurance coverage that does not include abortion drugs and other services that violate their conscience,” Lipinski said. “The administration has given us two attempts at compromises that really are no compromises at all. I am hopeful that the Health Care Conscience Rights Act will end the false compromise game once and for all, preserving the basic American freedoms that protect individuals to practice their beliefs as they choose.”