Catholics who believe the federal government should not be able to compel healthcare providers to perform abortions “have this conscience thing” that they really need to overcome, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Washington Post recently. Otherwise, she said, women “could die” from a lack of access to abortion services.
Pelosi made those remarks in response to a question from the Post concerning her comments on the Protect Life Act (H.R. 358), a bill that passed the House of Representatives in October. That bill was itself a response to an ObamaCare mandate “that would require all private health plans to cover sterilizations and contraceptives, including those that cause abortion, under the broad definition of ‘preventive services,’ ” explains former Colorado Rep. Bob Beauprez in a Townhall.com column. Beauprez continues:
Since the ObamaCare legislation also requires every citizen to buy health insurance, the government mandate would force Catholics to buy health care plans that violate Catholic doctrine. Catholic insurance agents would face the additional dilemma of selling a product that violates the moral teachings of the Church, or change professions.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops objected to the newly proposed mandate as a violation of Conscience Clause protections and the First Amendment. “Indeed, such nationwide government coercion of religious people and groups to sell, broker, or purchase ‘services’ to which they have a moral or religious objection represents an unprecedented attack on religious liberty,” the bishops said.
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Photo of Rep. Nancy Pelosi: AP Images