Trump Reaffirms Support for FADA, Conscience Protection Act

Donald Trump (photo credit: Gage Skidmore), a prominent Catholic issues organization, yesterday published a letter they received from Donald Trump which indicates an increased commitment to religious liberty from the Republican presidential nominee. As he did in the letter his campaign sent to the American Principles Project last December, Trump discussed the importance of freedom of religion and reiterated his support for the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), which would prevent government discrimination against individuals and organizations which hold traditional views on marriage. In his letter to CatholicVote, Trump also added that he would press for the passage of the Conscience Protection Act, a bill which would prevent pro-life healthcare workers from being forced to participate in abortions. (The Pulse 2016’s Michael Lucchese previously wrote on the Conscience Protection Act here.)

In voicing his support for both bills, Trump was cautious to add that he would take action only if Congress was first to take the initiative: “If Congress considers legislation such as the First Amendment Defense Act or the Conscience Protection Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signature and enactment.” In his letter to APP, Trump used remarkably similar language: “If Congress considers the First Amendment Defense Act a priority, then I will do all I can to make sure it comes to my desk for signature and enactment.”

While not the strongest possible language, these letters do indicate that a President Donald Trump, if elected, would be generally supportive of religious liberty initiatives undertaken by Congress. Continue Reading

Will Congress Protect Conscientious Objectors to Abortion?

Photo credit: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Today, members of the House of Representatives will vote on the Conscience Protection Act.

If passed, the bill will codify a ban on discrimination against health services providers that object to abortion on religious or moral grounds.

“This bill is one that is an extension of the Weldon amendment, which has been in law since 2005,” Congressman John Fleming, one of the bill’s supporters, said in a recent interview.

“What it says is that health care workers should not be required to participate against their will with abortions or anything of that type. Also, when you purchase health care coverage, when you make premiums, you cannot be required to pay premiums towards a plan that covers elective abortions,” Fleming explained.

The Conscience Protection Act has gained widespread support, and Catholic bishops have been particularly vocal about its necessity.

Additionally, in a column yesterday for The Hill, Susan B. Anthony List President, and occasional contributor to The Pulse 2016, Majorie Dannenfelser went into deeper detail as to the significant need for this legislation:

Ahead of the August recess, Americans are urging the House of Representatives to take up the task entrusted to them by the founders by voting on the Conscience Protection Act of 2016. Our first president, George Washington, called freedom of conscience “an inherent natural right.” His current successor, Barack Obama, does not seem to agree. Why else would his administration refuse to enforce the Weldon amendment, which bars federal funds from going to states that discriminate against those who object on moral or religious grounds to abortion?

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