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Harris, 80 Members of the House of Representatives Introduce the Conscience Protection Act

Representative Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01) and 80 Members of the House of Representatives introduced the Conscience Protection Act on Monday, April 1, 2019. The Conscience Protection Act amends the Public Health Service Act to prevent government at the local, state, or federal level from discriminatory practices and penalization of health care providers that do not participate in highly controversial abortion services.

Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (MD-01), Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (NE-01), Rep. Mike Johnson (LA-04), Rep. Mark Meadows (NC-11), Rep. Robert Aderholt (AL-04), Rep. Randy Weber (TX-14), Rep. Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (TN-01), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (MO-04), Rep. Ralph Norman (SC-05), Rep. Ralph Abraham (LA-05), Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-02), Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02), Rep. Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36), Rep. John Joyce (PA-13), Rep. French Hill (AR-02), Rep. Roger Williams (TX-25), Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03), Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22), Rep. Larry Bucshon (IN-08), Rep. H. Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Rep. Kenny Marchant (TX-24), Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08), Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), Rep. Brett Guthrie (KY-02), Rep. Kevin Brady (TX-08), Rep. Ted Yoho (FL-03), Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH-07), Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27), Rep. Clay Higgins (LA-03), Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01), Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04), Rep. Jody Hice (GA-10), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH-6), Rep. Rick Allen (GA-12), Rep. Rob Wittman (VA-01), Rep. Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Rep. Gregory Steube (FL-17), Rep. Steven Palazzo (MS-04), Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04), Rep. Steve Scalise (LA-01) wrote:

"Health care providers must be protected from discriminatory practices and penalization if they choose not to participate in abortion services. The Conscience Protection Act upholds one of the most sincere fundamental American principles, which is the freedom of religion and conscience. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to prevent any federal, state, or local government from penalizing or discriminating against a health care provider if the provider does not participate in the highly controversial practice of abortion.

The Conscience Protection Act codifies the Weldon Amendment, which protects charities and health care providers from coercion into abortion practices that violate their personal and religious beliefs. This bill also ensures those whose conscience protection has been violated will be able to seek justice in court. As physicians and lawmakers, we support the Conscience Protection Act because we strongly believe that health care providers should not be forced to violate their conscience when providing care for patients."

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