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VIDEO: Hartzler Stands for Conscience Protections

July 13, 2016
“The government should not be picking and choosing our beliefs.”

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), a member of the House Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives and co-chair of the House Values Action Team,  today spoke on the House floor about the Conscience Protection Act, a bill she co-sponsored to protect all Americans’ deeply held beliefs and the freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution.  Watch her remarks below:

(click to play) Congresswoman Hartzler speaks on the House floor.

Transcript (as prepared for delivery)

Mr. Speaker, I rise today in firm support of the Conscience Protection Act.

The validity and timeliness of this legislation could not be more important.

In light of recent events in California in which religious employers are being forced to violate their beliefs by purchasing health coverage for their employees that includes elective abortion; and as stories surface of nurses being forced to participate in abortion procedures for fear of losing their job or worse, the time to correct this injustice is now.

It is unthinkable that the government could and would force a person to act against their personally held beliefs.  Yet that is what is happening.  In a speech at Notre Dame in 2009, President Obama said, “Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.” But those words have rung hollow as his administration is siding with those who violate the first amendment. 

It doesn’t have to be like this. 

The Conscience Protection Act addresses this discrimination.  It just gives legal protection to those who choose not to participate in abortions and upholds our most fundamental rights. There is no more noble goal.

The government should not be picking and choosing our beliefs. Those who have had this happen to them deserve their day in court. This bill will give them that day.

I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the Conscience Protection Act and against coerced complicity in abortion.


The Conscience Protection Act stops 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.

Further, this bill provides a civil right to action for those discriminated against, including physicians, health professionals, hospitals, health systems, insurance issuers, insurance plans, and administrators of health plans, among others. They deserve a choice. They deserve their day in court.

Congresswoman Hartzler represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. She serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.


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