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#StandwithNurses. Tell Congress today to enact the Conscience Protection Act

Nurses and other health care providers and institutions are being forced to choose between participation in abortions or leaving health care altogether. The U.S. Bishops are asking the faithful to flood Congress with calls and emails for passage of the Conscience Protection Act (CPA).
The time has come when Congress will finally decide whether to include the CPA in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill. It is anticipated that Congress will make its decision sometime during the week of March 12 and the U.S. Bishops are asking the faithful around the country to rally together March 6-16 to urge Congress to include CPA in the bill.  Scroll down for background on the Conscience Protection Act.

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How can I help?

The U.S. Bishops call on all the faithful to pray and act by emailing and calling Congress this week especially on Monday, March 12 with the message that enacting the Conscience Protection Act is urgently needed to protect Americans from being forced to violate their deeply held convictions about respect for human life. Your calls and emails to your members of Congress really do make a difference, so please act now to protect conscience rights!
Even if you have responded to a previous alert, please contact your representatives again and urge them to support this bill.   

Steps to take:

Or contact your representative as follows:

  • Representative Justin Amash  (Send email)
    Phone: 202-225-3831 (Washington D.C. office)
    616-451-8383 (Grand Rapids office)
  • Representative Jack Bergman (Send email)
    Phone: 202-225-4735 (Washington D.C. office)
  • Representative Bill Huizenga (Send email)
    Phone: 202-225-4401 (Washington D.C. office)
    616-414-5516 (Grand Haven office)
    616-570-0917 (Grandville office)
  • Representative John Moolenaar (Send email)
    Phone: 202-225-3561 (Washington D.C. office)
    231-942-5070 (Cadillac office)
    989-631-2552 (Midland office)
  • Senator Gary Peters (Send email)
    Phone: 202-224-6221 (Washington D.C. office)
    616-233-9150 (Grand Rapids office)
  • Senator Debbie Stabenow (Send email)
    Phone: 202-224-4822 (Washington D.C. office)
    616-975-0052 (Grand Rapids office)
  • Not sure of your congressional district or who your representative is? Visit Find Your Representative and enter your ZIP code to identify your congressional district.

Also discover:

Presidentes llaman a fieles a la oración y la acción para instar al Congreso a promulgar Ley de Protección de la Conciencia

El cardenal Timothy M. Dolan de Nueva York, presidente del Comité de Actividades Pro-Vida de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de los Estados Unidos (USCCB), y el arzobispo Joseph E. Kurtz de Louisville, presidente del Comité para la Libertad Religiosa de la USCCB, instan a los fieles a inundar el Congreso con correos electrónicos y llamadas pidiendo la promulgación de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento 2018 y orar por este resultado. El Congreso está actualmente considerando la posibilidad de incluir la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia en la legislación de financiamiento obligatorio del gobierno, y se tomará una decisión sobre la inclusión de la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia antes del 23 de marzo de 2018.
La declaración conjunta sigue a continuación:
“Los crecientes y feroces ataques contra los derechos de conciencia en relación con el aborto claman por un remedio inmediato. Las enfermeras y otros proveedores e instituciones de atención médica están siendo obligados a elegir entre participar en abortos o abandonar por completo la atención médica. Las iglesias y los estadounidenses pro-vida están siendo obligados a proporcionar cobertura para abortos electivos, incluidos abortos tardíos, en sus planes de atención médica. Los opositores y partidarios del aborto deben ponerse de acuerdo en que nadie debe ser obligado a participar en un aborto. El Congreso debe remediar este problema promulgando ahora la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia como parte del proyecto de ley de financiamiento del año fiscal 2018.
Pedimos a todos los fieles que oren y actúen enviando correos electrónicos y llamando al Congreso durante la próxima semana, especialmente el lunes 12 de marzo, con el mensaje de que es urgente promulgar la Ley de Protección de la Conciencia para proteger a los estadounidenses de ser obligados a violar sus convicciones más profundas sobre el respeto por la vida humana. Sus llamadas y correos electrónicos a sus miembros del Congreso realmente marcan la diferencia, ¡así que actúen ahora para proteger los derechos de conciencia!”
Los miembros del Congreso pueden ser contactados llamando a la central telefónica del Capitolio de los Estados Unidos al (202) 224-3121 y solicitando ser puesto en comunicación con su representante o senador. O bien puede enviar un correo electrónico y llamar a sus miembros del Congreso de manera rápida y sencilla desde
La USCCB también ha creado un video disponible en su canal de YouTube y
Para obtener información adicional y videos con enfermeras que fueron obligadas por sus empleadores a elegir entre sus trabajos y participar en abortos, visite

Background on the Conscience Protection Act

In 2016, the U.S. Bishops commended members of the House of Representatives for passing the Conscience Protection Act of 2016 (S. 304) on July 13 in a 245-182 vote; they then called on Congress to enact the bill which did not happen.
(Read release)
The Conscience Protection Act of 2017 was introduced in January 2017 in both the House and the Senate. That legislation is identical to CPA 2016 passed in the House in July 2016. On Feb. 8, 2017 Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan and Archbishop William E. Lori – as chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, respectively – wrote to both Houses of the United States Congress urging support for the Conscience Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 644, S. 301). However, last year’s bill also was never enacted into law.
(Read release)
The hope now for enacting CPA hinges on its inclusion in the must-pass Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 appropriations bill. While the House included CPA in its Omnibus Appropriations Act last September, the Senate did not pass its appropriations bills, which then required Congress to pass several short-term Continuing Resolutions (CR) to fund the government. The latest CR will expire on March 23rd and it is expected that a final FY 2018 appropriations bill will be voted on prior to that deadline. 

What's been happening?

In 2014, California started forcing almost all health plans in the state to cover elective abortions, even late-term abortions. Religious employers in California that offer group health plans to their employees filed an objection with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has oversight responsibility for enforcing federal conscience laws. 
On June 21, HHS declared, contrary to the plain meaning of current federal law that the California Department of Managed Health Care can continue to force all health plans under its jurisdiction to cover elective abortions. (Read USCCB Response to California Elective Abortion Mandate)
At least one other state, New York, has already followed California’s lead and this action by the HHS will only prompt more states to follow suit.  

What does the Conscience Protection Act do?

Several churches and other religious organizations had filed complaints with the HHS Office for Civil Rights asserting that California's reinterpretation of state law violated the federal Weldon Amendment prohibiting discrimination by states against health insurance plans that do not cover abortion. The Conscience Protection Act would provide specific relief for those who decline to participate in abortion rather than relying solely upon HHS to defend their rights.
The Conscience Protection Act will protect health care providers from being forced to pay for or participate in abortions, and allow victims of discrimination a “right of action” to defend their rights in court. For example, nurses threatened with loss of their jobs unless they assist in abortions have found they have no right to go to court to see the law enforced. Congress should reaffirm a principle that has long enjoyed broad bipartisan support: Government should not force hospitals, doctors, nurses and other providers to stop offering much-needed health care because they cannot in good conscience participate in destroying a human life. (What is Conscience Protection?

What are our bishops saying?

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have been following this issue and maintaining communication with the faithful concerning CPA. They have called all along for prayer, action and a federal legislative remedy.
For additional information and videos featuring nurses who were forced by their employers to choose between their jobs and participating in abortions visit

Additional action

Follow @HumanLifeAction and @GRDiocese​ on Twitter and retweet the posts. Repost the link to this alert on your Facebook page or other social media channels
Photo credit: CNS image/K. Callaway