Yesterday, the DC Council passed a monthly bill named the “Reproductive Well being Non-Discrimination Act of 2014,” which could pressure companies in the District of Columbia (including the Family Research Council) to go over abortions.
The true language of the invoice would stop companies from “discriminat[ing] against” an individual with regard to the “compensation, phrases, circumstances, or privileges of employment” due to the fact of an individual’s “reproductive wellness decisions.” The definition of “reproductive well being decisions” contains but is not limited to “a decision by an staff . . . connected to the use or supposed use of . . . contraception or fertility manage or the prepared or supposed initiation or termination of a pregnancy.” In simple phrases, no employer would be ready to say they really do not want to include an abortion.
There is no exemption in the bill for any employer who may well object to this sort of coverage. This would have drastic effects for a quantity of businesses and companies in the District who not only might object to this kind of protection on conscience grounds, but whose real function for current is to stop abortion since they imagine it is a moral evil. This is the essence of a Flexibility of Association violation – disrupting the very purpose of autonomous, non-public groups by way of legislative bulldozing strategies, thus rendering the groups’ existence meaningless.
Aside from this injustice, there are a quantity of lawful difficulties with the bill. As pointed out by Alliance Defending Independence, the invoice would violate the Religious Independence Restoration Act, the Weldon Amendment, and the 1st Amendment protections of Totally free Speech, Free of charge Workout, and Liberty of Association.
Even the mayor’s place of work acknowledged the authorized issues with the bill. However, much more interested in ramming its insurance policies down each District employer’s throat, the DC Council went in advance and passed the bill in defiance of the mayor’s issues. A single of the mayor’s considerations was a prospective Equal Defense violation since the monthly bill only tackled protections for women. In reaction, the Council reportedly extra protections for gentlemen as well. That the Council would make this correction, and leave other groups who expressed religious and associational considerations hanging out to dry, only confirms the devious character of the DC Council.
If pursuing one’s conscience is to keep any that means at all for these dwelling and operating in the District, the mayor completely need to veto this bill!