Both the Senate and House Health Care bills have one religious conscience clause. Unfortunately it only applies to the Amish and a few other religious sects. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the exception would allow the Amish to avoid the health insurance mandate and a fine should they refuse to carry health insurance.
So get this straight: the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and possibly Christian Scientists can opt out of the health care plan, with no penalty, while Catholics and other Christians are bound to pay premiums that fund abortion. How is that fair? Hundreds of Christian, pro-life hospitals, doctors and nurses may soon be forced to violate their consciences and offer or perform procedures they consider morally objectionable. The Congress could care less.
If the pro-life community fails to demand conscience clause protections, and loudly, they could find themselves morally compromised by this new health care regime. Even the leading voice for conscience clauses, the US Catholic bishops, have been muted in recent days, preferring to convey their desires via letters and statements issued by their Conference. Now is the time for a full throated, public discussion of this critical issue. The ethical future of health care is being negotiated now in the back rooms of Capitol Hill.
Of course if everyone would rather focus on Harry Reid's comments, I suppose there is the option of riding a horse and buggy to work. Though some Catholic doctors I know will look pretty silly in those straw hats.
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