The blog for Massachusetts Citizens for Life: the pro-life movement in the Bay State since 1973.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Kirk's office vs real info. on conscience rights
Senator Kirk's staff has been very cordial to pro-life people who are calling.They have a misconception, however, that we must address.
As you know, they are saying that there is already a conscience clause in the health care bill. They refer to section 1303 in the abortion part of the bill. This is faulty.Even if there were a good abortion conscience clause, that would still not cover the bulk of medical care or provide any conscience rights in other areas for medical professionals, taxpayers, or patients and their families.
Now it develops that even the conscience clause for abortion must be inadequate because Sen. Tom Coburn, a pro-life Oklahoma Republican who is a medical doctor, has proposed an amendment to the bill that would provide protections for pro-life medical workers.
The Coburn amendment would ensure that health care providers do not have to participate in the performance of abortions.
The amendment closely mirrors an amendment the House Energy & Commerce Committee adopted by a voice vote in July and that was retained in section 259 for the final version of the health care bill the House approved in November.
This is the same amendment that Coburn proposed during committee consideration of the Senate bill.It was defeated in committee.
Coburn says the amendment is needed because, despite federal laws to protect conscience rights, there are still numerous examples - some very recent - of health care providers being pressured or forced to do or assist in abortions.
Of course we know that Senator Kennedy wanted a conscience clause that would apply across the board, but, at least, the Coburn Amendment would be a start.
Please urge Senator Kirk to support the Coburn Conscience Rights Amendment, which is vital to protect health care workers. 202-224-4543.
Do you wish these calls would just go away?That is exactly what Senate leaders are hoping: that we will get tired and go away.We cannot give an inch when the health of everyone in this country is at stake.You are doing a wonderful job!