Lowey’s Attempt to Strike Conscience Protection Fails

On July 18, the House Labor, Health and Human Appropriations subcommittee approved a bill funding the department’s programs for fiscal year 2013.

It contained several provisions to protect life, including continuations of all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in the legislation in prior years. The legislation also contains language prohibiting funding for Planned Parenthood unless it certifies it will not provide abortions, a provision ensuring “conscience protections” for religious and charitable organizations, and the text of the “Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.”

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-18 CD), whose revamped district will include all of Rockland County, offered an amendment to strike Section 537, which cuts funding to penalize those who — because of religious beliefs or moral convictions — refuse to comply with provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Lowey’s amendment failed in a party-line vote, with the Republicans voting prolife and the Democrats voting pro-abortion.

Now this bill must be approved by the full House Appropriations Committee, then the House of Representatives, before it can be sent to the Senate for further action.