Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

Olson Acts To Protect Healthcare Employees Constitutional Rights

July 14, 2016
Press Release

Last night Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) voted to protect the rights of individuals and healthcare providers who have ethical and religious objections to abortion. Olson was a cosponsor of and voted in support of H.R. 4828, the Conscience Protection Act. This bill will prevent the Federal Government, and any State or local government that receives Federal funds from penalizing, retaliating against, or otherwise discriminating against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not participate in abortion services.

“While there is agreement on both sides that no one should be forced to have an abortion, there is no protection for those healthcare providers who oppose performing an abortion on moral, ethical or religious grounds,” Rep. Olson said. “The Constitution protects these individuals from government discrimination for refusing to participate in the taking of innocent life. I applaud the House for acting to protect these sacred constitutional protections.”

Background on the need for H.R. 4828:

In violation of a federal law known as the Weldon Amendment, the California Department of Managed Health Care requires health plans to cover abortions. Religious employers in California that offer group health plans to their employees lodged an objection with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has oversight responsibility for enforcing the Weldon Amendment, noting that the State’s action violates the Weldon Amendment. On June 21, HHS sent the State and the objecting sponsors a letter stating that HHS refuses to take any action because the insurance companies have no moral or religious objection to abortion coverage.

 The Weldon Amendment provides that states receiving federal funds may not discriminate against health plans based on their decision not to cover or pay for abortions.

 

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 Contact: Melissa Kelly 
                 202-225-5951

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