U.S. Representative Randy Hultgren (IL-14) joined 80 Members of Congress urging Speaker Boehner to incorporate provisions of H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, into a continuing resolution or debt ceiling legislation. The bill would amend the Affordable Care Act to ensure that the federal government cannot force individuals, charities or businesses to buy insurance coverage that includes items or services against which they have deeply held moral or religious objections, such as abortion. It would also protect health care providers or workers from discrimination for abiding by their conscience and declining to provide, train or refer for abortion services.
"When the freedom to think independently is threatened, all freedoms are in jeopardy," said Rep. Hultgren. "The right of Americans to follow their moral or religious beliefs lies at the heart of our nation's founding. It is a gross violation of religious liberty for the federal government to discriminate against those who follow their conscience, whatever their belief system. As individuals and businesses face hostile litigation and a growing pattern of federal violation of religious freedom, it is essential we act now to bolster the First Amendment."