Bloomington Herald-Times, October 29, 2002
To the Editor:
Is a "pro-choice" position limited to the choice to have an abortion, but not to the choice to not participate in one?
The House of Representatives passed HR 4691 on September 25th. This bill would bar the federal government, or any state or local government that receives federal assistance, from discriminating against a health care provider for refusing to participate in abortion. The bill extends current conscience protection to "health professionals, a hospital, a provider sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, and any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan," according to http://thomas.loc.gov.
The need for this bill is clear in light of attempts to force hospitals to provide abortions, as detailed on the National Right to Life Committee Web site.
Support for this bill should have been an easy decision. HR 4691 is a truly "pro-choice" piece of legislation, not prohibiting abortion for women while at the same time not forcing it on medical professionals whose religious or moral convictions preclude involvement in a procedure that ends a human life.
Unfortunately, Congressman Baron Hill voted against the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act. Hill's vote shows that he does not believe medical professionals' deeply held convictions should be respected. Hill campaigns as a moderate "blue dog" Democrat, but his vote against this bill represents an extremist pro-abortion position. I encourage voters to remember Baron Hill's vote against choice, a vote that places pro-abortion politics over the freedom of conscience pro-choice advocates like Hill claim to value.