We are the most effective way to get your press release into the hands of reporters and news producers. Check out our client list.

Weldon Amendment Challenge by CA is Reverse Discrimination

Contact: Margie Shealy, Christian Medical Association, 888-231-2637, 423-341-4254 cell, margie.shealy@cmda.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Christian Medical Association (CMA), the nation's largest faith-based organization of physicians, today issued a statement criticizing the California Attorney General's legal attack on physicians' freedom to refuse to participate in abortions on the basis of conscience. In the case, Lockyer v. United States, heard this month by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the state Attorney General has challenged the constitutionality of a federal statute that provides conscience protections for healthcare providers regarding abortion.

The legislation, known as the Weldon Amendment, provides that no federal agency or program nor any state or local government receiving certain federal funds may discriminate against healthcare providers because they refuse to perform or refer patients for abortions. The Center for Law and Religious Freedom is representing the Christian Medical Association as Intervenor-Defendants in the case.

CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens noted, “The Attorney General's attack on conscience protections is essentially an attack on the First Amendment freedoms of healthcare providers who wish to act consistently with their religious or ethical standards. Our country was founded by individuals who had personally experienced the pain of overreaching governments that tried to force them to deny their religious beliefs. That's why the United States has historically prevented governments from tramping over the religious freedom of expression in the form of conscientious objection.

"The state Attorney General's opposition to these freedoms specifically targets and threatens faith-based hospitals, clinics and providers who provide irreplaceable services to underprivileged patients who otherwise would have nowhere to turn for help. These institutions and individuals will not compromise their conviction that abortion immorally ends a human life. Is the state of California prepared to shut down these vitally needed faith-based hospitals and clinics?"

Senior Vice President and OB/GYN Dr. Gene Rudd added, "Hopefully the court will recognize not only the constitutional freedoms for healthcare providers with deeply held convictions, but also recognize the political motivation behind this attack on conscience protections. If fewer physicians objected to abortion as immoral and unethical, pro-abortion forces would not have to be attempting to force physicians to perform abortions. It is sadly ironic that those who march under the banner of choice are trying to force others to conform to their beliefs.

"It is imperative that we protect the ethical integrity of physicians and the medical profession by allowing them to act on their ethical convictions. We do not want a nation of doctors without conscience."

To schedule an interview, please contact Margie Shealy at (423) 844-1047 or by e-mail: margie.shealy@cmda.org.  The Christian Medical Association is equipped with Ku Band Digital Uplink satellite and ISDN lines.