Congressman Smith and Colleagues Stand with Healthcare Heroes, Call for Conscience Protection Act to Become Law

In a press conference today at the House Triangle, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and other members of Congress called for the enactment of the Conscience Protection Act in the forthcoming end-of-year spending bill.

“It is an honor and privilege to join these “nurses of conscience” who believe that abortion kills children and harms women and stood up for their beliefs at the risk of great personal sacrifice and injury – loss of job, demotion, or other forms of retaliation” said Smith, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. To read Smith’s complete statement click HERE.

Members were joined by three nurses who have been subject to coercion by their employers to participate in abortions.

Fe Vinoya was one of 12 nurses at the Same Day Surgery Unit in University Hospital in Newark, NJ who were threatened with the loss of their jobs if they did not participate in abortion. “After years of working as a critical care and emergency room nurse, I never imagined that the hospital I worked for would force me to choose between taking the life of an unborn child and losing my job,” Vinoya said.  “I became a nurse to help people, not to do harm.”

Sandra Mendoza lost her job at the Winnebago County Health Department in Rockford, IL, after 18 years of service when she didn’t agree to participate in abortion. Mendoza said, “While we may not all agree on abortion, I’d hope we can all agree that no doctor or and nurse should be forced out of employment on account of their faith and commitment to protecting life.”

Cathy DeCarlo had served five years at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York before she was compelled by her supervisor to participate in a late abortion. She said, “I’ll never forget that day as I watched in horror as the doctor dismembered and removed the baby’s bloody limbs, and then I had to account for all the pieces… I never thought in America I would be forced to violate my conscience in this way.”

The Conscience Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Diane Black (H.R. 644), was included in the consolidated appropriations package that passed the House in September of this year. This bill would give victims of abortion discrimination, such as Cathy DeCarlo, Fe Vinoya and Sandra Mendoza, the ability to defend their rights in court.  President Trump has committed to sign the Conscience Protection Act into law.

Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), Andy Harris (R-MD), Keith Rothfus (R-PA) and Brian Babin (R-TX), joined Congressman Chris Smith, Congressman Diane Black and Senator James Lankford at the press conference.