Dear Senators,

We write to you as pro-life organizations united in opposition to the Equality Act (H.R.5/S.393). If passed, this legislation would be a severe bludgeon to efforts to protect the unborn by establishing abortion rights under the auspices of addressing pregnancy-related conditions. Despite the bill’s sponsors’ claims that this bill has nothing to do with abortion, the language in both the House and Senate versions of the bill lack critical abortion neutral language. Without such language, the bill will open a pandora’s box of abortion-related policy concerns, from taxpayer funding for abortions to abortion coverage mandates in health plans. Furthermore, under the expanded terms for public accommodation and diminished conscience protections for medical professionals, many doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other health care providers could be forced to participate in abortions under penalty of law. We call on Senators to oppose this radical bill.

This legislation redefines “sex” as found in the Civil Rights Act. As enacted, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 offered protections by banning discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in areas such as employment, housing, and public accommodations. For decades, the Civil Rights Act has been further protected by the addition of important guardrailsdictating that such definitions may not be used to construe a right to abortion. However, by prohibiting “less favorable treatment” on the basis of “sex” including provisions related to “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions,” and erasing the longstanding pro-life protections, the so-called Equality Act creates a path to impose onerous abortion mandates. In Doe v. C.A.R.S., the 3rd Circuit ruled “that the term ‘related medical condition’ includes an abortion.2 Accompanied with the new provisions relating to no “less favorable treatment” to that of the other “medical conditions,” abortion would likely be labeled a protected procedure. The National Partnership for Women and Families has stated that the Equality Act would provide an avenue for women “to challenge denials of reproductive health,” which is of course a misleading euphemism for abortion.3

The Equality Act’s expansive language requiring “any establishment that offers … health … care services or any federally-funded programs to follow the same definitions of “sex,” again including “pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions” would place public and private health facilities under the provisions of this act thereby endangering state and local pro-life protections.

Not only the facilities, but also each and every medical professional would be under the threat of discrimination charges for withholding services. The Equality Act explicitly blocks the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) claims for conscientious objection. Without RFRA protection there would be little recourse for medical professionals being forced to choose between following their consciences and being subjected to lawsuits, fines, and other penalties. This would be in direct conflict with conscience rights provisions already in law such as the longstanding Weldon and Church amendments and could set up a significant legal dilemma that will be litigated for years to come.

Without one explicit mention of abortion in its text, this legislation could be the biggest setback to the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade. The Equality Act would present an open door for legal challenges to reasonable, widely supported restrictions on abortion and abortion funding across public and private entities.4 It would punish religious believers and treat them as second-class citizens who must violate their fundamental moral convictions to serve the goals of the pro-abortion movement. We call on the Senate to stand opposed to this manipulation of the Civil Rights Act that would strip away the rights of countless unborn children and the conscience rights of pro-life Americans.

Sincerely,

 

 

Marjorie Dannenfelser

President

Susan B. Anthony List

Lila Rose

Founder & President

Live Action

Penny Young Nance

CEO & President

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee

Ryan T. Anderson, PhD

President

Ethics and Public Policy Center

Russell Moore

President

Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Fr. Frank Pavone

National Director

Priests for Life

Colleen Holcomb

President

Eagle Forum

Craig DeRoche

President & CEO

Family Policy Alliance

Garrett Bess

Vice President of Government Relations and Communications

Heritage Action for America

Rev. Dean Nelson

Executive Director

Human Coalition Action

Alexandra Snyder

CEO

Life Legal Defense Foundation

Robin Pierucci, MD, MA.

Pro-Life Committee Chair

The American College of Pediatricians

Janet Morana

Co-Founder of The Silent No More Awareness Campaign

Silent No More

Larry Cirignano

DC Representative

Children First Foundation

Cathie Humbarger

CEO

Reprotection, Inc.

Astrid Bennett Gutierrez

Director and Founder

The VIDA Initiative

Marie Tasy

Executive Director

New Jersey Right to Life

Gene Mills

President

Louisiana Family Forum

Joseph Brinck

President

Sanctity of Life Foundation

Nathan Winters

Executive Director

Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming

Bob Vander Plaats

President & CEO

The FAMiLY Leader

Aaron Baer

President

Center for Christian Virtue

Michael Gonidakis

President

Ohio Right to Life

Allan E. Parker, Jr.

President

The Justice Foundation

Julaine K. Appling

President

Wisconsin Family Action

Peggy Nienaber

Vice President

Faith & Liberty

Joel Brind

President & CEO

Natural Food Science, LLC

Jo Ann Gerling

Director

Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

Samuel H. Lee

Director

Campaign Life Missouri

Eva Andrade

President & CEO

Hawaii Family Forum

Sheila L. Harper

Founder & President

SaveOne

Carol Tobias

President

National Right to Life Committee

Kristan Hawkins

President

Students for Life of America/SFLAction

Star Parker

President

Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)

Tom McClusky

President

March for Life Action

Catherine Glenn Foster, M.A., J.D.

President & CEO

Americans United for Life

Andrew M. Bath

Executive Vice President & General Counsel

Thomas More Society

Bradley Mattes

President

Life Issues Institute

Roland Warren

President & CEO

Care Net

Thomas A. Glessner

President

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA)

Day Gardner

President

National Black Pro-Life Union

Mary Vought

Executive Director

Senate Conservatives Fund

Hon. Joel D. Grewe

Executive Director

Generation Joshua

 

Deborah Tilden

Co-Founder

S.M.A.R.T. Women’s Healthcare – Division of LifeVictory Enterprises LLC

 

Sister Jane Abeln

SMIC

Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Conception

Christopher Bell

President

Good Counsel

Cole Muzio

President

Family Policy Alliance of Georgia

Esther Ripplinger, MBA

Executive Director

Human Life of Washington

Cynthia Collins

Founder

SpeakHope

Andrew Shirvell, J.D.

Founder & Executive Director

Florida Voice for the Unborn

Joshua Edmonds

Executive Director

Georgia Life Alliance

Amber S. Haskew

Director of Public Policy

Liberty Counsel Action

C. Preston Noell III

President

Tradition, Family, Property, Inc.

John Helmberger

Chief Executive Officer

Minnesota Family Council

David Nammo

Executive Director & CEO

Christian Legal Society

Kimberlee Wood Colby

Director

Center for Law & Religious Freedom

Joe Langfeld

Executive Director

Human Life Alliance

Dorothy Wallis

President & CEO

Caring to Love Ministries

Lois Anderson

Executive Director

Oregon Right to Life

Tami Fitzgerald

Executive Director

NC Values Coalition

Connie Eller, BSSW Founder

Missouri Blacks for Life

Jim Minnery

President

Alaska Family Action

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Author: Press Release