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WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, the House Committee for Oversight and Government Reform, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), marked-up a resolution (H.J. Res. 43) to block the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act (RHNDA) recently passed by the District of Columbia (D.C.) City Council and transmitted to Congress for review. RHNDA could force employers in the District of Columbia (including the Family Research Council) to cover abortions.
For such religious employers in D.C. as the Family Research Council, as well as secular organizations with pro-life convictions, the bill would compel coverage of services or changes to hiring practices that may violate a employer’s religious convictions or moral conscience. RHNDA runs afoul of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and infringes on religious employers’ First Amendment rights of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of association.
Family Research Council’s Arina Grossu, Director of the Center for Human Dignity, released the following statement:
“The D.C. City Council’s RHNDA bill violates the freedom of religion as well as secular employers' right to operate according to their moral conscience that all human life should be protected and cherished. Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and the D.C. Office of the Attorney General recognized this when they opposed the bill’s passage last December, a reality that appears lost in the current Council’s zeal to force every DC employer to adopt the city government’s support for abortion-on-demand. The Constitution grants Congress final say in all D.C. matters and we applaud the work of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee for taking this responsibility seriously. Congress’ disapproval of RHNDA ensures our constitutionally-protected ability as Americans to operate in accordance with our moral or religious beliefs and ensures that they remain free of government intrusion,” Grossu concluded.