Life-Preserving Healthcare and Freedom of Conscience Not at Odds

The American College of Pediatricians supports all that is best for children and families. This includes the Bill of Rights, as well as life-preserving healthcare. The first article of the Bill of Rights states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” Some medical organizations argue that, regarding the provision of abortion and contraception coverage, an employer’s freedom of religion must be subordinate to the right to these services. The College strongly disagrees.

College Vice President Michelle Cretella explains, “Scientifically speaking, abortion and abortifacient contraceptives, unlike all other forms of life-preserving healthcare, destroy the life of a new human being and therefore should not be required coverage when this fact violates the conscience of employers. Striking the HHS mandate from the Affordable Care Act will not prevent women from obtaining affordable contraceptives or abortions; women will remain free to follow their consciences on these matters. Under the Constitution, employers possess and should retain the same right to moral conscience.”

The Supreme Court can and must uphold both freedom of religion and the right to affordable life-preserving healthcare.