from the Family Research Council.
On Capitol Hill, where the debate over health care is an all-day, every-day affair, both chambers are racing to find a winner among at least three bills that would overhaul the system. To help narrow the field, the leadership has packed this week's schedule with at least seven hearings and mark-ups on various proposals. Of the utmost concern to pro-lifers is the potential for any of these bills to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortionists.
The threat of anti-life coverage is real, despite the Left's insistence that the word "abortion" doesn't appear anywhere in these bills. As we reported yesterday, the legislation sponsored by Reps. Waxman, Miller, and Rangel does mandate "family planning" coverage, which could mean anything from surgical abortion to drugs like Plan B and the morning-after pill.
In reality, any of these broad health care mandates could be interpreted to include abortion as a health "service" even if it isn't mentioned in the text. Whether it's hiding in coverage for "family planning" or "outpatient clinics," groups like Planned Parenthood will find a way to become eligible for federal funding.
For this reason, FRC is working with Congress to include a provision that specifically and permanently excludes abortion coverage from any health care "reform" plan. Just as taxpayers shouldn't be forced to finance abortion, medical workers shouldn't be required to participate in them. Regardless, not one of the bills currently under consideration includes a conscience exemption to protect health care workers. Under ObamaCare, they would be forced--regardless of their moral beliefs--to participate in any number of controversial practices from abortion to assisted suicide. It's not as if those safeguards aren't popular.
In April of this year, a national poll showed that Americans overwhelmingly support the right of conscience for health care workers. A super-majority (87%) of U.S. adults (regardless of their sex, party affiliation, or opinion on abortion) said that doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and others shouldn't have to choose between their convictions and their careers.
Unfortunately, students are already feeling this pressure during their training days. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed said they "experienced discrimination" during medical school because of their moral beliefs. As more medical schools try to weed out opposition to abortion, these rights to conscience become even more crucial.