One politician is calling on the media to report “coercion, not in America,” when it comes to health care professionals who refuse to participate in abortion.
On Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) hosted a Capitol Hill press conference in support of the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 with other lawmakers and pro-life leaders. The bill protects the conscience of those in federally-funded health care systems who object to performing or participating in abortion. Nurses, whom the legislation would affect, testified at the event.
Following the conference, MRC Culture spoke with Rep. Smith about how he wanted the media to cover the legislation.
“We need to stop coercion of women and men’s consciences to force them to be complicit in abortion,” Rep. Smith stressed, before pointing to the nurses present who said they were either forced to help perform abortion or discriminated against because they refused to participate in abortion.
“These healthcare professional women who have suffered significant injury, threat of job loss, all kinds of retaliation because they want to defend the value and dignity of an unborn child and not participate in abortion,” he added. “So the media should -- and all of us should -- say: coercion, not in America, not ever.”
He said that lawmakers would “keep pushing” until the bill passed.
“Because all over the country, you have hospitals, medical centers, others who are systematically coercing nurses and doctors and LPNs and other healthcare professionals to participate or get out,” he explained. “That kind of discriminatory policy has no place in America.”
Sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), the bill would would allow healthcare professionals to pursue legal action if they’re discriminated against for refusing to perform abortion and “provide legal recourse for hospitals, health systems, religious charities, churches and insurance companies who are required to participate in or provide coverage for abortion,” The Hill reported Wednesday.
Abortion, Rep. Smith said, isn’t health care.
“Healthcare is about nurturing, healing, providing therapies, interventions that are life affirming, not the killing of a baby by dismemberment or by some other means,” he concluded.
Besides Rep. Smith, other speakers at the event included Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Rep. Keith Rothfus (R-PA) and Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX).