Abortion Allies Aim to Block Pro-life Provision

Lawsuit Against Conscience Protection Assailed as Hypocrisy

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WASHINGTON, D.C., DEC. 14, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A lawsuit planned by pro-abortionist activists against a conscience-protection provision "is the height of hypocrisy," says a U.S. bishops' aide.



A pro-abortion association whose members include Planned Parenthood announced plans Monday to file a federal lawsuit against the pro-life conscience protection in the newly enacted federal spending bill, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005.

The National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association (NFPRHA) plans to attack the provision, known as the Hyde-Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment, which prohibits discrimination against health care providers who choose not to provide or participate in abortions. President George Bush signed the measure into law last week.

"This lawsuit is the height of hypocrisy: a 'pro-choice' group is suing so that health care providers will have no choice but to participate in abortion," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

Abortion advocates around the country are trying to quash the conscience rights of health care providers and impose abortion mandates.

For example, the ACLU of New Jersey intervened in a hospital merger in 2002 to attempt to force a Catholic hospital to build an abortion clinic. In Alaska, the Alaska Center for Reproductive Rights and the ACLU filed a lawsuit that forced a community hospital to do elective late-term abortions against its will.

The Hyde-Weldon Amendment provides protection to individual physicians, hospitals, health plans, nurses, and other health care providers who choose not to do abortions.

"It is frankly not surprising that a group like NFPRHA would rush to court," Ruse said. "When abortion activists fail in the democratic arena, as they so often do, they turn to the courts to achieve their goals."