The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports the passage of HB 1247, a bill to safeguard fundamental rights of conscience for healthcare providers.  No medical practitioner should be forced to choose between their conscience and their vocation to heal and care.  As Pope John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), “to refuse to take part in committing an injustice is not only a moral duty; it is also a basic human right …. What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law.”  (No. 74.)  All people have a duty to form their consciences in accord with truth, and to assist others in doing the same, especially in light of various incomplete or erroneous bioethical theories prevalent today.  At the same time, for healthcare personnel, given the rise of these same tendencies, it is important that rights of conscience — specifically, the right to refrain from cooperating in what one believes to be immoral — be robustly safeguarded in law, given medical personnel’s important work in promoting life.  HB 1247 enacts such protections.

Categories: 2021 Session