National Partnership for Women & Families

Refusal Provisions | In the News

Many states have or are considering laws that allow health providers to refuse to provide certain medical services that violate their moral or religious beliefs. Although these laws originally focused primarily on abortion and sterilization services, in recent years they have been expanding. States have passed laws to allow pharmacists to refuse to provide emergency contraception to women who need it, and current efforts have focused on allowing medical professionals to deny access to contraception and other medical care with which they disagree. These provisions put women’s health at risk, and are especially dangerous for women in rural areas or small towns where there are few medical providers or pharmacies.

ACLU of Wash. Sues Public Hospital District Over Access to Abortion Services
The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington on Thursday filed a lawsuit against a public hospital district, accusing it of violating a state law that requires medical facilities in the state that provide maternity care to also offer abortion services, Reuters reports.

Wyo. Religious Refusal Bill Advances
The Wyoming House on Monday approved a bill (HB 83) that would permit private-sector workers, including health care providers, to deny services that conflict with their religious beliefs, the Casper Star Tribune reports.

20-Week Abortion Ban, Other Bills on Wis. Anti-Choice Groups' Legislative Agendas
With conservatives retaining control of Wisconsin's Legislature, antiabortion-rights groups intend to push proposals that failed last year, as well as introduce new measures, the AP/HTR News reports.

States Slow Pace of Antiabortion-Rights Legislation, But Restrictions Up Overall, Guttmacher Report Shows
States passed fewer abortion restrictions in the first half of this year compared with the same time period in any of the past three years, but state laws restricting abortion access continue to vastly outnumber those expanding access, according to a new report from the Guttmacher Institute, Vox reports.

Featured Blog: 'AL HB31: Where Saving a Woman's Life Becomes a Question of Conscience'
An Alabama bill "would allow the entire hospital staff, including but not limited to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, counselors, and social workers, to refuse to provide medical care in situations that would 'violate their conscience,'" Feministe reports.

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Refusal Provisions | In the Courts

This section provides a brief overview of significant cases impacting reproductive rights and health related to Refusal Provisions.

Stormans, Inc. v. Selecky
Federal court challenge to a Washington law that requires all pharmacies to carry and deliver prescription drugs, including emergency contraception.

Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Quinn
State court challenge to an Illinois law brought in state court by anti-choice pharmacists that requires pharmacists to fill prescriptions for contraception.

Refusal Provisions | More Information

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