The Affordable Care Act, states explicitly that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding – (i) conscience protection…” However, the mandate and regulation issued through HRSA and HHS violate the principles of long-standing federal laws that provide broad conscience protections.
Congress first addressed the issue of conscience protections just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Roe v. Wade case. In 1973, Congress passed the first of the Church Amendments (named for its sponsor, Senator Frank Church). The Amendment provides that the receipt of funding through three federal programs cannot be used as a basis to compel a hospital or individual to participate in an abortion or sterilization procedure to which the hospital or individual has a moral or religious objection.
In addition, §§ c(2) and (d) of the Church Amendment provide broad protection ensuring that no “individual shall be required to perform or assist in the performance of any part of a health service program or research activity,” funded in whole or in part by the federal government if doing so “would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.” Thus, the protections of the Church Amendment are broad and are not limited to abortion and sterilization.
Taken together, the original and subsequent Church Amendments protect healthcare providers from discrimination by recipients of HHS funds on the basis of their objections, because of religious beliefs or moral convictions, to performing or participating in any lawful health service or research activity.
In addition, the Hyde-Weldon Amendment, first enacted in 2005, provides that no federal, state, or local government agency or program that receives funds in the Labor/Health and Human Services appropriations bill may discriminate against a healthcare provider because the provider refuses to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortion.
In contrast to the principles of these federal laws which recognize a right not to be coerced into participating in abortion, sterilization, and other services “contrary to his religious or moral convictions,” the HRSA mandate leaves most Americans no option but to be on an insurance plan that covers the abortion-inducing drug ella, sterilization, and other “contraceptive” items and services to which he or she may have a sincerely held ethical, moral, or religious objection. The HRSA mandate is not a question of taxpayer-funding, but applies to all health insurance plans.
 ACA §1303(c)(2)(A)(i).
 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
 42 U.S.C. 3001-7.
 Consolidated Appropriations Act 2008, Pub. L. No. 110-161, §508(d), 121 Stat. 1844, 2209 (2007).