Mo. House Approves Refusal Measure

March 13, 2013 — The Missouri House on Monday approved a bill (HB 457) stating that health care providers and facilities may not be discriminated against for refusing to provide or participate in services and research because of ethical, moral or religious objections, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The measure, sponsored by House Speaker Tim Jones (R), was approved 118-42 and must be voted on again before it can move on to the state Senate.

The bill would allow health care workers to object to abortions, sterilizations that are not medically necessary, assisted reproduction, stem cell research and contraception. It also would allow hospitals, clinics and medical schools to refuse to perform such procedures or conduct research.

The legislation would not apply to emergency situations in which a person's life is in danger.

State Rep. Stacey Newman (D) said the bill could interfere with infertility services and access to emergency contraception for women who have been sexually assaulted (Blank, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/11).