Why Hospitals in Many States With Legal Abortion May Refuse To Perform Them

Several states, including California, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, have laws protecting hospitals that refuse to provide reproductive healthcare. These laws shield providers, often Catholic hospitals, from liability for not offering services like abortions and sterilizations based on religious beliefs. Some states have laws without exceptions for emergencies or miscarriages. These laws have consequences for patients, limiting access to care and potentially harming individuals. Supporters of medical conscience rights have successfully expanded protections in certain states. The newer laws clarify that providers cannot deny emergency care required by federal law based on religious beliefs. Some states are focusing on broadening conscience laws in 2024.

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