WASHINGTON (April 22, 2005) - Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) gave up her chance for a vote yesterday to rescind the Hyde/Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment which became law last December. The law prohibits governmental discrimination against health care providers who choose not to provide or participate in abortions. According to reports, Senator Boxer realized she did not have the votes necessary to rescind the provision.
"The vote to kill conscience protection for pro-life health care providers made no sense," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, Esq., Director of Planning and Information for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. "How can you claim to be 'pro-choice,' and say that Catholic and other health care providers have no right to choose not to participate in abortions?"
"Conscience rights should be an area of common ground among Senators who disagree on the issue of abortion itself," Ruse said. "We are grateful that the scheduled vote against this important conscience protection was cancelled."