Protect Rights of Conscience
Imagine that you are a healthcare professional who is convinced that life begins at conception. Imagine that your employer insists that you offer women counseling regarding abortion options and requires you to prescribe contraceptive drugs–whether or not they have an abortifacient effect.
Imagine that you are being forced to dishonor your faith or give up your profession and your livelihood. Now stop imagining and realize that this scenario is actually being played out every day in the United States as people are forced to violate their sincere beliefs out of fear of losing their employment and jeopardizing their careers.
Freedom of conscience and religious beliefs lies at the very heart of our Constitution. Yet this core freedom—the ability to hold personal religious beliefs and to live in accordance with those beliefs—is being threatened as never before.
Medical professionals are facing increased pressure to provide abortions, contraceptives and other forms of so-called health care, even when this would violate their consciences.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been tasked with accepting complaints from employees forced to participate in abortion (if their employer is a recipient of specific federal funding). Waiting for action from this federal agency has hardly proved an adequate safeguard of religious freedom.
Ironically, it is this very same Department of Health and Human Services that has eviscerated rights of conscience for so many employers through the Contraceptive Mandate.
In the name of “preventative health care,” insurers are required to provide coverage without co-pay for contraceptives, abortifacient drugs, and sterilization. Faced with violating their consciences or paying crippling fines, many employers have filed suit to block application of the mandate.
LLDF has been active in these cases, submitting amicus briefs to argue that forced funding of contraceptives, far from promoting women’s health, will have a deleterious impact on women’s health. The attacks on religious liberty have spurred some in Congress to action. In the House, Representatives Black and Fortenberry have introduced H.R. 940, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. The Act would affirm a commitment to religious liberty by amending specific provisions of Obamacare “to protect rights of conscience with regard to requirements for coverage of specific items and services,” and would provide a private right of action for employees who are wrongfully forced to participate in abortion, among other things.
Action Item: For this important bill to pass, more support is needed. Your representative needs to hear how much you value your religious freedom. Contact your Member of Congress and urge him or her to stand up for religious freedom by becoming a co-sponsor of H.R. 940. Post your message in support of religious freedom on your social media page and urge your friends to join you in standing up for our first freedom. (Twitter users: join the Twitter campaign with the hash tags #ConscienceProtection #ReligiousFreedom.)
[LLDF, May 2013]
The Next Generation of Pro-Life Physicians
Medical Students for Life (MedSFL) is pleased to announce our annual MedSFL Summer Fellowship activities. The 2013 Summer Fellows were carefully selected through a competitive process with applications submitted from across the nation. Each med extern will participate in a five week training by some of America’s leading bioethicists, clinicians, researchers, health economists, and legal experts.
The fellowship began on June 16th when the externs participated in an intense week-long medical ethics seminar at Princeton University led by some of the top pro-life medical ethicists in the country. After the seminar, they began work on a medical ethics research project where they will prepare manuscripts on various topics pertaining to pro-life medicine and submit their work to medical journals.
During the practicum portion of their fellowship they will participate in clinical rotations with pro-life physicians in their field and volunteer their time at a medical pregnancy resource center.
This week, Med Students for Life’s National Meeting at the Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity’s (CBHD) “Health & Human Flourishing Conference” is being held at Trinity International University on July 18-20th. MedSFL will be hosting a lunch meeting in the Fireside Room of the Lee Building to present a briefing on our programs and give a report as to the state of medical schools and abortion, as well as one-on-one consultations with pro-life medical school leaders.
Managing an Unexpected Prenatal Diagnosis: Critical Considerations for Counselors, Clinicians, and Friends
Powerpoint presentations for this conference are available at: http://lejeuneusa.org/care and http://lejeuneusa.org/care/conference-opportunity
This was sponsored by: The Jerome Lejeune Foundation, USA – Family Research Council – Medical Students for Life – The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity
The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity covers a wide range of Bioethical Issues: http://cbhd.org/resources/issues
Our Summer Fellows are the rising stars of the pro-life movement; many of them will go on to serve on medical boards, teach academic medicine and seek to change the pro-abortion medical culture from the inside out.
http://med.studentsforlife.org/2013/07/18/the-next-generation-of-pro-life-physicians/ Alexa Coombs, Director of External Relations
Students for Life of America [email protected]
Abolish Abortion: http://www.abolishabortion.com
Knowing Your Conscience Rights Webcast
August 28, 2012 MedSFLA National Webcast: Conscience Rights in America's Medical Schools.
Medical students at public colleges or universities have established constitutional rights to speak, associate, and exercise religious beliefs freely—rights that for too many are restricted, violated, or denied by universities. Compelled participation of students and faculty in advocacy of views and participation in procedures, both in and out of the classroom, that are contrary to their beliefs is unconstitutional. Medical students have conscience rights to protect religious beliefs during med school, residency, and beyond, yet there remains so much confusion of what these rights are exactly.
That is why MedSFLA offered a free, live webcast featuring Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney, Matt Bowman, on August 28th. Mr. Bowman is going
lay out the case for your conscience rights in medical school, the protections these rights offer, and what to do if these rights are violated. Make sure to join us Tuesday, August 28th at 9pm by either dialing in at 9:00pm by calling 206-402-0100 and entering access code 402116# or clicking this link to listen via the online stream.
Also, don't forget to submit your questions for Mr. Bowman before the webcast, by clicking here: