Bill to Bar Discrimination Against Pro-Life Health Care Providers

WASHINGTON (Sept. 25, 2002) -- The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) applauded today's strong vote in the U.S. House of Representatives approving the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 4691).

Rejecting opposition by NARAL and other pro-abortion advocacy groups, the House passed the bill 229-189 (roll call no. 412).

"The bill is needed because officials and courts in some states are forcing health care providers to participate in abortions," said NRLC Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. "Unfortunately, the Senate Democratic leadership will probably kill this bill this year, just as they are killing the bill to ban partial-birth abortions."

Increasingly in recent years, pro-abortion groups have been actively engaged in a concerted campaign to coerce hospitals and other health care providers, both religiously affiliated and secular, to provide, facilitate, or pay for abortions. Typical of these efforts is the "Hospital Provider Project" of the Maryland affiliate of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL). As that organization explained, "The goal of the Hospital Provider Project is to increase access to abortion services by REQUIRING Maryland hospitals to provide abortion . . ." (capitals added for emphasis)

In other examples cited in today's debate, the Alaska state supreme court ruled that some community hospitals must perform late second-trimester abortions against their will. A certificate of need was denied to a proposed outpatient surgical center in Connecticut because it declined to perform abortions, after abortion activists intervened in the proceedings. A hospital merger in New Hampshire was undone when pro-abortion activists intervened with the state attorney general. The City Council of St. Petersburg, Florida, forced a private hospital to leave a non-profit consortium because the consortium followed a pro-life policy.

Source: Press release from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) in Washington, D.C., issued September 25, 2002.

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