US politicians have backed legislation to protect the conscience rights of people who refuse to take part in abortions.
The House of Representatives supported the Conscience Protection Act by 245 votes to 182.
Barack Obama’s administration has signalled its opposition to the measure.
Congressman Diane Black proposed the Bill, saying politicians should support the right not to be forced into participating in abortions.
She made it clear that the legislation would not outlaw abortion, or affect access to contraception.
It simply prevents “any government — federal, state, or local — from penalizing or in any way discriminating against a healthcare provider for refusing to participate in abortion”.
Black added that those who talk about a ‘right to choose’ on the matter of abortion should “protect the other right to choose as well: the right not to be a forced partner in the practice of abortion”.
The Bill was passed by the lower house of the US Congress, but the Obama Administration has outlined its opposition, saying it believes current laws are sufficient.
“If the President were presented with this legislation, his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill”, a policy statement noted.
Abortion provider Planned Parenthood claimed it was “extremists” who were pushing the legislation.
Last month the US Supreme Court struck down a Texas law because it led to a dramatic reduction in abortion facilities in the state.
Supreme Court judges voted 5 to 3 to overturn the law, which required abortionists to be endorsed by a nearby hospital and abortion facilities to meet the same health standards as hospitals.
President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary Dr Albert Mohler reflected: “Abortion is now, according to the United States Supreme Court, not only a constitutional right but a constitutional right that may not be infringed upon”.