Friday, March 25, 2016

Hartzler: I will fight for religious beliefs against Obamacare mandates

(From Fourth District Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler)

This week a historic case was heard before the U.S. Supreme Court. What is at stake? Religious freedom and the sanctity of the First Amendment. The Little Sisters of the Poor, a religious order that serves the poor in 31 countries, has asked the Supreme Court for protection from ObamaCare’s mandate requiring purchase of abortion inducing birth control drugs as part of their health insurance. This is a violation of the Little Sisters’ religious beliefs. The Little Sisters are being put in a position in which they must comply with a heavy-handed government mandate or pay up to $70 million a year in fines. This is unacceptable!

I joined House colleagues from both sides of the aisle to support the Little Sisters of the Poor and stand for the religious freedoms we have had for over 200 years. I join all supporters of freedom of religious belief in praying that the Supreme Court puts the rights of these women above government bullying and defends our First Amendment rights.

Also this week, I was proud to co-sponsor legislation to protect health care providers who choose not to conduct abortions as part of their health care practice. The Conscience Protection Act gives doctors, nurses, and hospitals the right to say "no" to assisting or providing abortions. It should be clear that forcing a health care provider, church, or private employer to violate their conscience and participate in something many consider horrific is unacceptable. This bill preserves conscience rights already given by law and offers additional protections for those on the front lines of the medical profession which are needed. It is essential that our religious freedoms be protected and respected.

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