Congress: Respect for Rights of Conscience (That We Agree With)

H.R. 1179 in the House and S. 1467 in the Senate are two copies of the same bill, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. If passed, this bill would let doctors, pharmacists and health insurers block patients from obtaining abortions or insurance coverage for abortions even in places and circumstances where abortions are legal. The “Rights of Conscience” to which supporting members of Congress throw their “Respect” is the right to deny people abortion services. This would be a new right under federal law, one not enumerated in the U.S. Constitution.

A right that is enumerated in the First Amendement to the U.S. Constitution is the right to free speech. S.J. Res. 19 and its counterpart in the House of Representatives, H.J. Res. 13, would cancel out the free speech clause of the First Amendment by adding a new provision to the Constitution to take away free speech rights. The bills would make it legal to throw people of conscience in jail for engaging in an act of unpopular speech: burning an American flag.

Two of the three members of the Senate who have signed on in support of the right to deny abortion services have also signed on in support of a constitutional amendment to criminalize the right of speech. They are:

Sen. Roy Blunt (Republican-MO)
Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican-FL)

And 13 of the 45 members of the House who have sponsored a bill to create a right to deny abortion coverage without penalty as a matter of conscience have also sponsored a bill to take people of conscience who express their right to speech by burning a flag and throw them in jail. They are:

Rep. Francisco Canseco (Republican-TX, District 23)
Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick (Republican-PA, District 8 )
Rep. Randy Forbes (Republican-VA, District 4)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (Republican-NE, District 1)
Rep. Andy Harris (Republican-MD, District 1)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Republican-MO, District 4)
Rep. Steve King (Republican-IA, District 5)
Rep. Jeff Miller (Republican-FL, District 1)
Rep. Steven Palazzo (Republican-MS, District 4)
Rep. Stevan Pearce (Republican-NM, District 2)
Rep. Todd Platts (Republican-PA, District 19)
Rep. Christopher Smith (Republican-NJ, District 4)
Rep. Patrick Tiberi (Republican-OH, District 12)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *