Conscience and the Dignity of the Human Person

davinci_person.jpgIntroduction
Almost everyone agrees that we ought to respect persons. They think we ought to do so because persons are not “things” that can be disposed of at will. They regard them as beings of moral worth, with a dignity that ought to be respected by others and endowed with rights that ought to be recognized and protected by civil authority. Surely almost all Americans make their own the “self-evidence of the truth” affirmed in the Declaration of Independence that “[all men] are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these rights are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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Protecting Healthcare Freedom of Conscience: A National Tradition

aul_logo.jpg Most Americans know that this year marks the 36th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the controversial U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.  However, 2009 is also the 36th anniversary of important federal protections for healthcare providers:  the Church Amendments.  For more than three decades, these Amendments have provided a much-needed foundation for protecting the moral and ethical freedoms of healthcare providers.

Today, these protections are increasingly important as abortion proponents seek to weaken and, ultimately, remove common-sense abortion laws such as informed consent and parental involvement, as well as federal and state laws and regulations protecting healthcare providers who do not wish to participate in abortions or other conflict-ridden procedures.  Moreover, these protections are also implicated as Congress and the Administration debate a government take-over of America’s healthcare industry.

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