Missouri Senate Committee Hears Bill Providing Conscience Protection to Health Care Workers

The Senate General Laws Committee heard testimony this week on HB 1541, sponsored by Rep. Tim Jones (R-Eureka), which would allow health care workers to opt out of participating in certain medical procedures that violate their conscience. The procedures include abortion, provision of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, sterilization, assisted reproduction, human cloning, human embryonic research, human somatic cell nuclear transfer, fetal tissue research and non-therapeutic benefit fetal experimentation.

HB 1541, which passed the House by a vote of 113-41, was opposed for a variety reasons by groups including the ACLU, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Hospital Association, BJC, HCA – Kansas City, St. Luke’s – Kansas City and Planned Parenthood. A substitute bill addressing many of the concerns raised is expected to be presented to the committee before a vote is taken.

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