Update: The bill has passed!
The Conscience Protection Act, authored by Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), would give more legal power to religiously minded Americans who are being pressured to fund abortions.
The Washington Examiner explains the legislation’s implications:
Were the measure to become law, churches and other entities could directly sue the federal government for violating the Weldon Amendment, which prohibits states from getting federal dollars if they discriminate against providers refusing to pay for, provide or refer for abortions.
This breach of religious freedom became evident in California, where insurers, regardless of faith, were forced to provide abortion services to employees, per the state’s mandate. The unfair rule prompted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other GOP leaders to meet with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to demand the agency do something to protect insurers' First Amendment rights.
The House will vote on the Conscience Protection Act on Wednesday. Until then, consider these new findings from the Knights of Columbus. In a Wednesday press release, the group shared a survey which shows most Americans want conscience protection.
Americans say that medical professionals and organizations should be able to opt out of abortion procedures and coverage by nearly 20 points (57 percent to 36 percent), according to KOC.
Update: Rep. McCarthy spoke on the House floor on Wednesday in defense of the Conscience Protection Act.
"Don't force somebody deeply and morally opposed to something to fund it, support it, or perform it," he said. "Mutual respect is necessary for a free society, and only with that respect can America live in the liberty we have so long enjoyed."
Watch his full remarks here: