Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) recently signed the state's new budget bill, and the bill provides an exemption for medical providers and insurers from conducting procedures that may conflict with their religious beliefs.
The Christian Post refers to the exception regulation that appears on page 1454:
"A physician, health facility, or payer has the freedom to refuse to provide, participate, or pay for any health service that affects the conscience of the doctor, institution, or payer according to the moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or principles of the practitioner, institution, or of the payer. "
It goes on to say: "The exercise of the right of conscience is limited to objections of conscience to a specific health service."
The Ohio budget, signed by @GovMikeDeWine, contains a "doctor's conscience clause," which proponents say could lead to LGBTQ + Ohioans being medically discriminated against
DeWine kept it in there.
"That's not a problem," he says, predicting that such discrimination wouldn't happen pic.twitter.com/lKr44sv5nm
– Tyler Buchanan (@Tylerjoelb) July 1, 2021
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Opponents argue that some will be turned away
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Opponents of the new law say it will be a means of discriminating against LGBT people. LGTB rights advocate group Equality Ohio says the bill is a "license to discriminate against LGBTQ + Ohioans."
Equality Ohio public policy strategist Dominic Detwiler said the medical conscience clause was included in the budget because sponsors of the clause knew that “they could not pass this off as a separate law because literally no one asked for it to be passed on . "
Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David made a statement saying, “Today, Governor DeWine has put LGBTQ discrimination into law and threatens the medical well-being of more than 380,000 LGBTQ people in Ohio, one of the largest LGBTQ populations throughout the country."
The Ohio ACLU said, "The practical implications may be Catholic hospitals refusing to admit LGBTQ Ohioans, insurers refusing to pay for birth control, doctors blocking fertility treatments, and more."
With Ohio being the sixth state to introduce a health discrimination license, more than 1 in 10 LGBTQ people in the country now live in a state where they can be denied medical care simply because of their identity. See the tracking of @lgbtmap here. https://t.co/Xhe5RjJz45 pic.twitter.com/p4SkoIpO8Q
– Logan S. Casey, PhD (@loganscasey) July 2, 2021
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Governor DeWine defended the clause
Governor DeWine disagreed with claims that the clause was used to discriminate against the LGBT community. He explained the clause, which says it works similarly to how a doctor would refuse an abortion.
“Let's say the doctor is against abortions, (then) the doctor doesn't do abortions. If there are other things a doctor might have a problem with, it worked. Someone else is doing these things. This is not a problem. This was not a problem in the state of Ohio, and I don't expect it to be a problem either. "
DeWine also stated that by including the protection of conscience in the draft budget, "it simply puts in law what the practice was anyway".
"Ohio state law now includes conscience protection for healthcare professionals after Governor Mike DeWine (R) signed a budget bill on June 30." https://t.co/jsvPhL2IhN
– Gayle Trotter (@gayletrotter) July 7, 2021
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Another way forward for Ohio
The Ohio medical conscience clause indicates the new direction of the right in the Biden era of renewed liberal politics.
Often times, the Obama administration's practice of overriding health care providers' objections to certain procedures, such as abortion or sex reassignment surgery, ended up in court.
In California, too, the conscience rights of healthcare providers are moving in the opposite direction.
Catholic hospitals are being pressured to offer abortions, assisted suicides and transgender surgeries. The University of California health care system has voted to cut ties with Catholic hospitals because they “discriminate” for not providing these services.
Medical conscience necessary because we are so fragmented over moral issues – such as the sanctity of life, sexual identity, reproductive technologies – that our medical system is in danger of being torn apart. Comity in elective medical situations is our only hope. .https: //t.co/M1DVoKMBrb
– Wesley J. Smith (@theWesleyJSmith) July 1, 2021
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