WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 The Family Research Council (FRC) praises President Bush and Secretary Leavitt for the Administration's issuance of regulations to enforce the Church, Coats, and Weldon Amendments that protect health care providers' right of conscience. These regulations will increase public awareness of, and ensure governmental enforcement of, these vital statutes.
Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, released the following statement:
"This is a huge victory for religious freedom and the First Amendment. No one should be forced to have an abortion, and no one should be forced to be an abortionist. These regulations will ensure that conscience protection statutes will be strongly enforced by the government in the same manner as our other civil rights laws.
"Protecting the right of all health care providers to make professional judgments based on moral convictions and ethical standards is foundational to federal law. These regulations will implement conscience protections that have been embodied in U.S. statutes for over three decades. This is also a victory for the right of patients to choose doctors who decline to engage in morally objectionable practices.
"The lack of regulations has resulted in confusion and a lack of awareness within the health care community regarding the statutes, leaving health care personnel vulnerable to discrimination and forcing them to drop their specialties at a crucial time of health care scarcity.
"Family Research Council urges President-elect Barack Obama to stand up to pro-abortion forces maneuvering to compel health professionals to participate in abortion. The scope of conscience must be defined by individuals and not the government."
SOURCE Family Research Council