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Thursday, May 26, 2011

U.S. House passes measure to protect conscience rights, ban tax funding of abortions in medical education

On Tuesday, I joined pro-life politicians and leaders in meeting in the U.S. Capitol with Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC-5th) and others to discuss and express support for her amendment to H.R. 1216, which would:
1.      protect conscience rights in medical education, and;
2.      prevent the use of tax funds for abortion training.
On Wednesday, by a vote of 234 to 182, the U.S. House of Representatives PASSED the Freedom2Care-backed amendment.
Action:
Use the Freedom2Care legislative action web site to see how your Representative voted on the Foxx amendment and send a thank-you message for a YES vote, using the pre-written note or a custom note of your own.
Details:
The amendment by Rep. Foxx would ensure that none of the funds authorized for qualified teaching health centers can be used to pay for “abortion or training in the provision of abortions.” The amendment also ensures that funds are not made available to any teaching health center that discriminates against individual or institutional health care entities on the basis that the entity does not “provide, pay for provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.” 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, "Obamacare") created direct funding for graduate medical education in qualified teaching health centers, which are defined as community based, ambulatory patient care centers that operate a primary care residency program. H.R. 1216 removes the (mandatory) direct funding stream for this program and instead makes funding for qualified teaching health centers contingent on the approval of Congress.
What you can do:
1.      Use the Freedom2Care legislative action web site to see how your Representative voted on the Foxx amendment and send a thank-you message for a YES vote, using the pre-written note or a custom note of your own.
You can also use this handy site to track bills and to let your leaders know your views on conscience-protecting legislation like this.
2.      If you haven't done so already, sign whichever of these petitions applies to you:
Healthcare professional petition to Congress and the President
Patient petition to Congress and the President
Resources
H.R. 1216 hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives (starts at 19-minute mark; Rep. Fox at 30-min.)
Rep. Foxx’s floor speech (YouTube)
White House Statement of Administrative Policy opposing H.R. 1216

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