Pro-Life Coalition Letter Opposing the Equality Act
TO: The Honorable Dick Durbin Chairman Senate Committee on the Judiciary U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 The Honorable Chuck Grassley Ranking Member Senate Committee on the Judiciary U.S. Senate Washington, DC 20510 
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.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. 
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 WarrenPresident & 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
1. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (“This subsection shall not require an employer to pay for health insurance benefits for abortion, except where the life of the mother would be endangered if the fetus were carried to term, or except where medical complications have arisen from an abortion”) 2. Doe v. C.A.R.S. Protection Plus, Inc., No. 06-3625, (3d Cir. 2008) 3. The Equality Act (H.R. 5/S. 788): Providing Critical Protection Against Discrimination for LGBTQ People and Women [Fact Sheet]. (April 2019). The National Partnership for Women & Families.4. 
About the American College of PediatriciansThe American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds) is a national medical association of licensed physicians and healthcare professionals who specialize in the care of infants, children, and adolescents. It was founded by a group of concerned physicians who saw the need for a pediatric organization that would not be influenced by the politically driven pronouncements of the day. The mission of the ACPeds is to enable all children to reach their optimal physical and emotional health and well-being. The ACPeds is committed to fulfilling its mission by producing sound policy, based upon the best available research, to assist parents and to influence society in the endeavor of childrearing. 

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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