Catholic health and social service organizations represent one of the oldest and largest traditions of voluntary public service in our nation. The role of private voluntary institutions has its roots in our nation's Constitution and Bill of Rights, which guarantee the freedoms of association, religion, and speech. In addition, the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services note that the "ministry is rooted in a commitment to promote and defend human dignity; this is the foundation of its concern to respect the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until death." Our commitment to the inherent dignity of all persons calls us to advocate laws and policies that protect our religious and moral tenets.
CHA continues to work with administration and congressional leaders to ensure that public policies reflect the importance of religious freedom and conscience clause protections in the delivery of health and social services. Catholic health care facilities and other faith-based providers should be afforded adequate legal protections to ensure they are not forced to provide services that are contrary to fundamental moral values.
For more information, see the related documents below and CHA's policy brief Ethical Integrity and Conscience Protections.