The House Democrats voted 181-3 against a bill (passed 245-182) that would protect medical professionals from government discrimination if they do not wish to participate in an abortion. The Conscience Protection Act of 2016 very simple states:
Notwithstanding any other law, the Federal Government, and any State or local government that receives Federal financial assistance, may not penalize, retaliate against, or otherwise discriminate against a health care provider on the basis that the provider does not—
“(1) perform, refer for, pay for, or otherwise participate in abortion;
“(2) provide or sponsor abortion coverage; or
“(3) facilitate or make arrangements for any of the activities specified in this subsection.
The bill even makes an explicit provision protecting healthcare professionals who do participate in abortions:
Nothing in this section shall be construed— “(1) to prevent any health care provider from voluntarily electing to participate in abortions or abortion referrals;
’“(2) to prevent any health care provider from voluntarily electing to provide or sponsor abortion coverage or health benefits coverage that includes abortion;
And yet, almost all Democrats voted no.
I predict Democrats will abort this bill by filibuster in the Senate.
The only conclusion one can draw is that most Democrats would support policies forcing or coercing doctors to perform abortions, or refer to a doctor the refusing MD knows will do the deed. Such a law already exists in Victoria, Australia.
Medical conscience is going to be a very contentious and cultural and political flash-point, as I believe abortion supporters will seek to move beyond simple legalization to an enforceable legal right to receive an abortion on demand. Indeed, Hillary has already so advocated: