Archbishop Lori Issues Statement of Support for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who is chair of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, has voiced support for the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, authored by Representative Diane Black (R-TN).

Archbishop Lori issued the following statement:

“I am grateful to Congresswoman Black and other sponsors for their leadership today. I welcome the Health Care Conscience Rights Act and call for its swift passage into law. While federal laws are on the books protecting conscience rights in health care, this Act would make such protection truly effective. This overdue measure is especially needed in light of new challenges to conscience rights arising from the federal health care reform act.”

Representative Black’s legislation comes after she and 13 other members of Congress sent a letter to the House leadership requesting that the issue of freedom of conscience be included in the upcoming budget bill. This letter opened the doorway for the Republican leadership to make their stand-off with the President over budget concerns about something noble instead of using it to stop tax increases on the wealthiest Americans. 

Hopefully, they will see it that way and take the action that the signers of the letter asked of them. 

Meanwhile, Representative Black announced at a press conference today that she is authoring a separate statute to guarantee the right of conscience to health care workers. 

If you wish to contact your Congressional delegation to ask them to support both Representative Black’s bill and putting the issue of religious freedom into the budget bill, you can find their emails and phone numbers here

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  • Karyl

    Thank you for this information. I’ll be contacting them right away.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Thank you Karyl! That’s what we all need to do.

  • Peg

    I don’t mind contacting them but am really struggling to understand why we need this. Don’t we already have these rights so why start parsing legislation that is less than the comprehensive rights we do have now?

    I could be totally off in left field with my understanding here. I am glad to see these fourteen take a stand for conscience rights. I hope someday to see more D’s on lists like these or at least R’s that will vote for other things that help people’s lives too. Thanks

    • Deacon Matt

      I understand your thought Peg. Politics is a messy business because, well, people are messy. The issue needs to be addressed on multiple fronts at the same time. The constitutionality of the HHS mandate is being assailed through the many court cases that are in process. This is another avenue to bring relief. In my personal philosophy of law, legislation is a lot like the insurance policies that I sell. Many endorsements and binding provisions are there to clarify the original intent of the policy. So I see this bill as a clarification to correct an abuse of the constitution and the bill of rights.

  • Deacon Matt

    I took action on this yesterday when I received a text from the USCCB. If you text “Freedom” to 377-377 you can sign up for text alerts on religious freedom issues. I also took action today when I posted your blog to my Facebook timeline. (-:

  • Don

    With all due respect to representative Black and Archbishop Lori, there seems to be a duplication of effort in addressing this issue in the legislature when it is still being fought in the courts. How can anyone ask a Congressman to vote for one law that negates regulations published by a government agency under another law because those regulations are unconstitutional? If they are, wouldn’t they have to be repealed?

    • Theodore Seeber

      Given the serious nature of the offense, I’d welcome quadruplication of effort against it. If I wasn’t such a pacifist, I’d probably expand that even further.

  • Peg

    Thanks Deacon Matt

  • Bill S

    “If I wasn’t such a pacifist, I’d probably expand that even further.”

    You could just say “if I weren’t a law abiding citizen…” What more can be done?

    • Theodore Seeber

      The law is extremely violent. One thing that could be done within the law is call for the arrest of all politicians violating their constitutional oaths. I wonder how many conservative Catholics are in positions of law enforcement authority?

      • Theodore Seeber

        Oh, and to link this back to “if I wasn’t such a pacifist”- such an action would *certainly* end up causing the same type of civil war with secular authority that we’ve seen in Mexico flare up on and off over the last 120 years.

  • Darren

    This is a great idea! The only objection I have is that it does not go far enough, not nearly far enough.

    Government abuses of our God given freedoms are far more widespread than Barry-Care. We are talking about the government taking ownership of every aspect of our lives, thinking they can tell us who we can marry, how we raise our children, the function of our families. This is the government STEALING our hard-earned money, taking food out of the mouths of our children, to fund institutionalized mass murder!

    This law is a step in the right direction, but why only a step, and a baby-step at that? What we are saying is that there are two types of law in this world: The Law of Man and God’s Law. We follow God’s Law, NOT the Law of Man.

    Christ did tell us to render unto Ceaser, and to submit to lawful authority, so as long as the Law of Man does not conflict with God’s Law, we should follow it, but those areas are few these days. When the Law of Man usurps, countermands, defiles God’s Law, then we have NO OBLIGATION to follow it, in fact, we are commanded to DEFY IT!

    Let’s make this law say JUST THAT!

    It has been twenty years since the government, under another Satanic president, showed all of us just what they will do to Godly men, women, and children. Why are we still waiting?!

  • Paul P.


    You started out on a good theme. Government does interfere too much in out lives. Then you got a little more extreme saying that it is taking food out of our children’s mouths to fund mass murder. You went on to say that we follow God’s law, not the law of man. And we have an obligation to defy man’s law when it countermands God’s law. You then referred to Bill Clinton as another Satanic president, which I assume you mean that Obama is one too.

    Are you really sure you know what God’s law is? If you do, how can you be so certain as to encourage others to defy the laws of the United States federal and state governments?