Update: April 30, 2015 >>>
Today or tomorrow, the House of Representatives will vote on a resolution of disapproval of the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014. This DC Council policy would force non-profits like the March for Life to hire people who are not pro-life and fund abortion. Read why the March for Life opposes it HERE. Please call your representative TODAY and urge him/her to vote for H.J. Res. 43 disapproving the D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. The Capitol Switchboard can be reached at 202-224-3121.
Imagine owning a vegan restaurant and being told you have to serve meat? Or imagine you own a Jewish deli that is forced to serve bacon? Or imagine being an organization that fights for the unborn and also organizes the world’s largest annual march of pro-lifers and being forced to hire people who advocate for abortion.
It is that last example that pro-life organizations, churches and associations face in the Nation’s Capital, thanks to a coercive piece of legislation passed by the city council and the mayor.
The Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Amendment Act of 2014 prevents religious institutions, other faith-based employers, and pro-life advocacy organizations from making employment decisions consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs or their moral and ethical views about the sanctity of human life. For example, as currently written, the law could be read to require our organizations to subsidize elective abortions through their employee health plans. Thus, it is plainly invalid under federal law and squarely contradicts the Supreme Court’s recent, unanimous ruling in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Church and School v. EEOC. The law would also infringe the right of expressive association for both religious and non-religious pro-life nonprofit organizations – forcing them to hire employees who openly advocate for the taking of human life.
Although at this point the Bill has effectively become an Act, its journey to becoming a law is not yet complete. Unique to the District of Columbia, an approved Act of the Council must be sent to the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for a period of 30 days before becoming effective as law (or 60 days for certain criminal legislation). During this 30-day period of congressional review (which begins when the bill is submitted to Congress – something that has not happened yet), the Congress may enact into law a joint resolution disapproving the Council’s Act. If, during the 30-day period, the President of the United States approves the joint resolution, the Council’s Act is prevented from becoming law. If, however, upon the expiration of the 30-day congressional review period, no joint resolution disapproving the Council’s Act has been approved by the President, the bill becomes law.
To protect the religious and moral liberties of the citizens of Washington, D.C. a number of pro-life, religious and pro-religious liberty groups based in D.C., as well as organizations that serve the people of D.C., has asked Congress to protect the rights guaranteed us by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
A link to that letter can be found here.