By Brie Shea
Rewire.News tracks anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ legislation as it works its way through state legislatures. Here’s an overview of the bills we’re watching.
A Republican in Missouri wants to criminalize abortion and substance abuse during a pregnancy, another state wants fetal “personhood” on the ballot, and lawmakers in South Dakota continue to target trans kids.
Last Monday, state Rep. Brandt Smith (R-Jonesboro) introduced the “Medical Conscience Protection Act,” which would allow health-care providers and insurance companies to refuse to participate in a health-care service that violates their conscience. The measure clarifies that the right of conscience would not include the right to deny emergency medical care. Still, health-care providers and insurance companies would be able to refuse to participate in—or provide coverage for—a number of services, including abortion, birth control, and gender-affirming surgery or therapy. The bill is similar to a failed 2017 measure by Rep. Smith, the “Healthcare Freedom of Conscience Act,” which was based off model legislation drafted by Americans United for Life (AUL).
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