National Partnership for Women & Families

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Refusal Bill Advances in Ala. House

Refusal Bill Advances in Ala. House

January 21, 2014 — The Alabama House Health Committee on Wednesday advanced legislation (HB 31) that would allow most health care providers to refuse to participate in abortion care or other services if they personally object, the AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

The measure, introduced by state Rep. Becky Nordgren (R), would bar employers from penalizing workers who refuse to participate in medical procedures or services if they submit a religious, moral or ethical objection in writing.

The measure does not apply to workers at abortion clinics, nor does it allow health care providers to stop providing care in life-threatening situations until a replacement is available.

According to the AP/Journal-Constitution, similar versions of the bill previously passed the House but stalled in the Senate, mostly because of general gridlock and not partisan objections. Only two members of the House Health Committee -- Democratic state Reps. John Knight and Laura Hall -- voted against the latest measure (Barrow, AP/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/15).