Earlier this month, the House passed the Conscience Protection Act, which would protect hospitals, religious groups, medical practitioners, and individuals from having to violate their conscience by having to fund or participate in abortions against their wills.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “Whoever you are, whatever you believe, I think this is one thing we can all agree on: No one should be forced to violate their conscience — least of all by the federal government,” while House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy explained, “Voting for this bill isn’t voting against abortion. It’s voting against compulsion.”
As the bill makes its way to the Senate from the House, the Knights of Columbus sponsored a Marist poll to determine where Americans stand on this issue and found overwhelming support from Americans for conscience protection.
Over 1,000 Americans were asked, “Do you think doctors, nurses, or organizations who have moral objections to abortion should or should not be legally required to perform or provide insurance coverage for abortions?” By almost 20 points (56% – 37%), respondents answered that they should not be legally required to either participate in or fund abortions.
Knights of Columbus CEO Carl Anderson responded to the poll results, saying, “Consistent with our First Amendment guarantees, the American people believe that no person or organization should be compelled to help perform or cover abortion. It is important that our elected officials continue to protect these important rights, and no American ever be forced to be involved in abortion against their conscience or religious beliefs.”
Despite passing in the House, though, the bill is not expected to be signed into law — Barack Obama has already promised to veto it if it comes to his desk.