Encouraging Update on Conscience Protection

This is “appropriations season” on the Hill. That means Congressmust pass funding legislation for Fiscal Year 2018. As you know, we have been encouraging our members to include certain pro-life provisions – chief among them the Conscience Protection Act – in the “must-pass” bill. I am happy to report that we are one step closer to attaining that goal!

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives approved HR 3354,Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, 2018. It includes the full text of the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) of 2017! It also includes other provisions which we have taken action on such as the nullification of the DC law that legalized assisted suicide and the DC Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA), a DC law that could force pro-life employers to hire people who disagree with their sincerely held beliefs about the sanctity of life. There are many other pro-life provisions (both longstanding and new) in the funding bill as well, such as a prohibition on funding elective abortions for detainees of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and against funding for research involving human fetal tissue from abortions. While we expect all long-standing pro-life provisions to be retained in the year-end appropriations legislation, not all of the new provisions are likely to be retained.  Of the new provisions, our top priority is to ensure that the CPA is included.

Our voices are being heard, but we are not across the goal line yet. The passage of HR 3354 is good news, but it is only the first step of many. For example, rather than finalizing the FY 2018 appropriations legislation by the end of the fiscal year (September 30), both the House and the Senate passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the government at its current levels with current policies untilDecember 8, 2017.  This means that negotiations between the House and the Senate are underway between now and December on what policies will be included in the final year-end appropriations legislation. That is why again urge you to continue contacting your members of Congress. It is particularly important that the Senate know that our top priority is inclusion of the Conscience Protection Act in the year-end appropriations legislation. Even if you have already sent a message, please do so again. The more of us who raise our voices, the more clearly our lawmakers will hear us calling them to protect our deeply cherished rights of life and freedom of conscience.

Thank you for continuing to stand with us. You are making a difference. Please, let’s keep the drive alive until every life is protected in law.

Together we will be heard!

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