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US Rep. Black Pushes for Added Protection for Pro-Life Healthcare Workers


What happens when a healthcare provider must choose between their conscience and their job?

That’s the decision an Illinois nurse says she was forced to make three years ago.

In an op-ed published in The Hill newspaper U.S. Rep. Diane Black, (R-TN), and former nurse Sandra Rojas, recount  Rojas’ decision to stand by her pro-life convictions.  

“‘I solemnly swear to do no harm.’ We took this oath more than 40 years ago when we became nurses,” write Black and Rojas. Black is also a registered nurse.

Rojas states she was instructed to violate that oath in 2015 when the county-owned pediatric clinic she’d served for 18 years merged with a women’s facility.

Her new duties included administering abortion-inducing drugs and writing abortion referrals.

Rojas objected and was fired.

“Sandra’s (Rojas) patients lost the nurse that had been caring for them and their families for several generations,” Black and Rojas wrote.

And then there was the financial toll. Rojas says she lost her insurance and was no longer able to provide for her family,

“Unfortunately, the government has failed both healthcare professionals and the patients they serve. Rather than fulfilling its legal obligation to protect conscience, it has instead sought to coerce health care professionals to violate their conscience and participate in procedures that end life,” they wrote.

Black is pushing back with The Conscience Protection Act. The act would codify existing measures in place to protect pro-life workers and go the extra step by providing a legal course of action. 

The legislation calls on the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice to investigate complaints filed by employees who say they have been discriminated against.  

“They lose their job, they lose their income, and they have no standing in court and they just refuse to violate their conscience and their deeply held beliefs,” Black told Townhall.

Black wants to the measure to be a part of the Fiscal Year 2018 spending bill.

“While we may not all agree on abortion, we should agree that no doctor or nurse should be forced out of the medical profession due to their beliefs about abortion,” they wrote.

A group of Catholic Bishops has also joined Black. They are organizing a national congressional call-in day on Monday, March 12 and asking followers to call their representatives and urge action. 

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