61 Days of Life: What are conscience protections?
One aspect of the train wreck that is commonly called Obamacare is the provision that allowed Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, with the full support of President Barack Obama, to force companies and individuals to pay for and/or subsidize contraception, sterilizations and abortifacients. Obvious to all except for the pro-abortion crowd and the Obama Administration, those who are opposed to paying for such life ending procedures and drugs feel it is wrong that the government should force them to either violate their beliefs or pay a large fine or go to jail. Do they deserve to be protected?
The following is adapted from consciencelaws.org:
Protections of conscience laws ensure that people cannot be forced to facilitate practices or procedures to which they object for reasons of conscience. These may include abortion, capital punishment, contraception, sterilization, artificial reproduction, euthanasia, assisted suicide, human experimentation, torture, etc. An adequate protection of conscience law should protect conscientious objectors from coercive hiring or employments practices, discrimination and other forms of punishment or pressure. It should also include protection of conscience laws and afford varying degrees of protection for conscience objectors. They may appear in statutes or in the policies of organizations or institutions.
Protection of conscience laws and conscience clauses are needed because powerful interests are inclined to force health care workers and others to participate, directly or indirectly, in morally controversial procedures. Physicians, nurses and pharmacists and others have been denied employment, dismissed, or penalized because of objections to abortion, contraception or drugs that can act as abortifacients. The same pressure will almost certainly be applied to force conscientious objectors to participate in reproductive technology, eugenic screening and in euthanasia and assisted suicide, particularly where such things are legal or tolerated.