M. Casey Mattox and Matthew S. Bowman, Your Conscience, Your Right: A History of Efforts to Violate Pro-Life Medical Conscience, and the Laws That Stand in the Way, The Linacre Quarterly 77(2) (May 2010): 187–197.
Attacks on the conscience rights of health-care professionals are increasing. This stems from the seven stages of liberal legal activism which begins with the assertion that a specific (immoral) activity should not be illegal and ends with the condemnation as criminals of those who disagree with the immoral activity. The history of legal activism in the United States with regard to abortion is traced, including attempts to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions and sterilizations. These include challenges on the national and state levels with conscience-protection legislation enacted both in Congress and in state legislatures. However, these laws provide no
explicit means by which a medical professional or institution may seek redress for a violation of their conscience. This has led to recent failures of conscience protection, such as when Catholic Charities in New York was forced to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in a twentytwo-
week-old dismemberment abortion. The conscience protection regulations issued near the end of President Bush’s second term would be helpful in ensuring greater education about and adherence to the laws and respect for conscience rights, but the Obama Administration has proposed rescinding the Bush Administration
regulations. Catholic Medical Association members must stand and defend their conscience rights in this time or risk the loss of those rights in the near future. The Alliance Defense Fund and its allies are ready to assist medical students, professionals, and institutions who are willing to stand in this gap and refuse to sacrifice their
consciences to the anti-choice agenda being promoted by those who call themselves “pro-choice.”
Adapted from a presentation delivered by M. Casey Mattox at the first annual symposium for Catholic health-care professionals, “Conscience and Ethical Dilemmas
in Catholic Healthcare,” hosted by the Archdiocese of Baltimore Respect Life Office and Baltimore Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Baltimore, MD, May 9, 2009. This symposium predated the deliberations on health-care reform in Congress. As this article went to press Congress passed and President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. The impact of that bill on the longstanding conscience protections discussed here remains to be seen.
- Posted: 07/01/2010
- Category: ADF in the News
- Tags: ADF: Casey Mattox, ADF: Matthew S. Bowman, Alliance Defense Fund, Category: Religious Liberty, Category: Sanctity of Life, Group: Catholic Medical Association, Topic: Conscience, Topic: Legal Periodicals, ZZ: Facebook
ChristianNewsWire: “Representing Concerned Women for America, America’s largest women’s advocacy group and four other groups of pro-life medical professionals, attorneys with Advocates International filed a joint motion to lift stay and at last permit their intervention in three lawsuits commenced on January 15, 2009 that seek to invalidate a final federal regulation protecting medical professionals from discrimination because they refuse to participate in abortions . . . On behalf of the Christian Medical Association, Catholic Medical Association, and American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, attorneys from the Alliance Defense Fund and Christian Legal Society also joined in this motion [ADF news release] to lift stay and intervene asking the court to be allowed to defend the law.”
- Posted: 03/23/2010
- Category: ADF in the News
- Source: www.christiannewswire.com
- Tags: ADF: Media Clips, Alliance Defense Fund, Category: Religious Liberty, Category: Sanctity of Life, Group: Advocates International, Group: American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group: Care Net, Group: Catholic Medical Association, Group: Christian Legal Society, Group: Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Group: Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International, Group: Concerned Women for America (CWA), Group: Heartbeat International, Group: New Jersey Physicians Resource Council, Group: Planned Parenthood, ZZ: Cenzon-DeCarlo v The Mount Sinai Hospital, ZZ: Connecticut v. United States