If the Equality Act becomes law, it will jeopardize the freedoms of pregnancy resource centers and hinder other pro-life protections, warns Save the Storks' CEO Diane Ferraro.
Ferraro of Save the Storks told The Christian Post in a Thursday interview that if the Equality Act passes the Senate, pro-life centers and nonprofit organizations would be endangered.
“If the Equality Act passes, the religious freedom will be taken away, and as a Christian nonprofit organization that partners with pregnancy resource centers across the state, we believe in equality for every woman as well as for every human being,” Ferraro said. “[This] could strip away those privileges and those rights that our pregnancy resource centers have right now.”
The 500-page plus bill, which passed in the House by a vote of 224-206 on Feb. 25, bans discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. It would also inhibit healthcare providers and faith-based organizations from having autonomy and nullify conscience protections for those who object to participating in abortions.
“Employees in faith-based organizations such as a pregnancy resource center could be asked to do things against their religious beliefs or against their conscience …,” Ferraro said. They could also be forced to hire people that are pro-choice. … This is very detrimental to what they believe and goes against why they are in the pro-life space in the first place.
The Equality Act states, “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition [which includes abortion] shall not receive less favorable treatment than other physical conditions.”
This means the bill could require doctors to perform abortion despite moral objections, leave no protection for employers who have religious objections to covering abortion and abortion-inducing drugs in their healthcare coverage, and require taxpayer funding of abortion in federal government healthcare plans as well as for those who receive federal funding," according to Alliance Defending Freedom.
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention said of the Equality Act that it “would be the most pro-abortion bill ever passed by Congress” and noted that it would redefine the term “sex” to include “pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”
Melanie Israel, a research associate for the conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation, wrote in an online commentary that the Equality Act is a “Trojan horse” for the abortion lobby and would have a “devastating impact” on current pro-life policies.
Israel asserted that the bill would eliminate prohibitions on taxpayer-funded abortions on the state and federal level, reverse pro-life protections of religious people and organizations gained by long-fought court battles, and end conscience-protection provisions for individuals in healthcare.
The Equality Act is now with the Senate and will require 60 votes to bring it to a vote. President Joe Biden has already promised to sign in into law.
Ferraro said that in 2019, 2,700 pregnancy resource centers across the country served nearly 2 million people, which saved taxpayers $270 million.
If the Equality Act passes, these services could be hindered, she explained.
“Pregnancy resource centers and pro-life organizations such as Save the Storks would be in danger because we don’t promote or provide abortions. We don’t support abortions. We don’t believe that abortion is the best for a mom, for a woman. …,” Ferraro said. “We also believe as Christians that all human beings deserve equality. That’s what Jesus would want us to do. But the Equality Act could take liberties away that Christians need to effectively (as nonprofit or churches) serve moms with love and compassion" through pregnancy or adoption, not abortion, she added.
“We truly do stand for love and compassion, and we want to make sure pregnancy resource centers can keep serving women in their communities,” she added.