H.R. 940 and S. 1204 – The Health Care Conscience Rights Act
The Health Care Conscience Rights Act would protect individuals,
employers, schools, and insurance issuers from having to buy or provide
health insurance coverage for an item or service to which they have a moral
or religious objection. Basically, it would apply the right to religious
freedom to Obamacare’s HHS mandate.
The Obama administration has interpreted the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) to require, under the threat of
financial penalty, that religious individuals, whether acting as health
insurance consumers or as sponsors, must violate their consciences by
purchasing or making available to others health insurance that covers
morally objectionable items such as products that cause abortion.
H.R. 940 and its Senate version S. 1204 would provide a statutory right
of conscience to religious consumers, employers, and insurance issuers so
that they cannot be fined, taxed, or otherwise penalized for refusing to buy
or provide coverage for items or services that they find morally
objectionable. It would also allow health insurance companies to offer
without penalty plans that do not cover morally objectionable items or
In addition, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act extends federal
conscience protections for physicians to all other health care entities
(e.g. nurses, pharmacists, hospitals, medical schools, health insurance
companies, etc.). It would ensure that individuals and institutions could
not be denied federal funding or otherwise be discriminated against for
refusing to participate in, refer for, or provide training for abortion.
The complete text of H.R. 940 may be found at
The complete text of S. 1204 may be found at
H.R. 940 was introduced by Congresswoman Diane Black (TN-6) and has 195
co-sponsors. A list of the co-sponsors may be found at
S. 1204 was introduced by Senator Tom Coburn (OK) and has 21 co-sponsors. A
list of the co-sponsors may be found at
Status – H.R. 940
3-4-13 H.R. 940 introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to
the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means.
3-8-13 Referred by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to its
Subcommittee on Health.
Status – S. 1204
6-20-13 S. 1204 introduced in the Senate and referred to the Committee on
Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
3-4-13 Press release by Congresswoman Diane Black announcing the
introduction of H.R. 940. Includes statements from Congresswoman Black and
Congressmen Jeff Fortenberry (NE-1) and John Fleming, MD (LA-4), as well as
links to statements from medical professionals in support of the bill.
6-21-13 Press release by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in
support of the introduction of S. 1204. Includes links to letters written to
Members of the House and Senate in support of the legislation by Archbishop
William E. Lori, Chairman of the USCCB’s Ad Hoc Committee on Religious
Liberty, and Russell D. Moore, Ph.D., Chairman of the Southern Baptist
Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission