A U.S. House committee’s approval of a joint resolution voicing disapproval of the District of Columbia’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act has elicited mixed responses.

The local measure, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and family members based on private reproductive health decisions, was approved by the D.C. Council, signed by the mayor and sent to Congress March 6, initiating a 30-legislative-day congressional review period. On April 21, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee marked up and passed H.J. Res. 43, which would overturn the District’s law.

District supporters of the RHNA derided Congress Republicans for attacking the law, and also for undermining D.C.’s autonomy.

“Members of Congress were sent to Washington to represent the interests of their constituents, not meddle in the District’s affairs,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement on April 21. She added, “In the District of Columbia, choosing the health care option that is best for you is not a political issue; it is a human rights issue that is not up for debate.”

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton voiced her disapproval in remarks addressed to the committee’s before its markup of the resolution.

“This markup makes no pretense at fairness,” she said. “The reason for Republicans’ action today boils down to their political disagreement with the District’s local law, their willingness to override their own local control principles, and above all, their subservience to the interest groups that are the prime movers for today’s markup.

“My Republican colleagues will cite freedom of religion, which in this case would mean the freedom of any employer in the District of Columbia to discriminate against any employee because of the personal, constitutionally protected reproductive choices she makes in her private capacity even though she is ready and willing to carry out her employer’s policies and practices on the job, whatever they are,” she added. “This is not freedom of religion.  It is the freedom to discriminate.”

But a coalition of religious institutions, notably The Archdiocese of Washington, along with other faith-based organizations and pro-life advocacy organizations within the District of Columbia, hailed the move towards overturning the RHNA, which, they say, “would force religious institutions and other organizations to hire or retain employees who publicly act in defiance of the mission of their employer.”

The coalition also championed disapproval resolutions, H.J. Res. 44 and S.J. Res. 11, which would undo the District’s Human Rights Amendment Act of 2014. The law retools the Human Rights Act of 1977 by repealing an exemption that allows religiously-affiliated educational institutions to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

“Both RHNDA and HRAA subjugate the Church’s moral teaching to the moral views of the government, violating the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and result in discrimination against religious believers,” said the local Catholic authority  in a statement. “The archdiocese urges the U.S. Congress to take swift action in their respective chambers on the resolutions of disapproval for both RHNDA and HRAA to protect religious freedom, freedom of speech and freedom of association in the nation’s capital in the remaining days of the congressional review period.”