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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 10, 2014 10:31 AM
From: Senator John H. Eichelberger, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: Conscientious Objection Act
This session, I intend to re-introduce a bill that would establish a Conscientious Objection Act.

Healthcare providers are currently provided some protection under the Abortion Control Act, but that Act does not extend to contraception or other services. There is also some ambiguity as to how far these protections extend, given that abortions were surgical and not chemical at the time of the Act’s passage. The courts have yet to opine on some of these related issues.

The Conscientious Objection Act would clearly provide that it is the public policy of the Commonwealth that a health care provider or institution not be compelled to perform practices which are contrary to moral or religious beliefs. Among other things, this Act would allow health care professionals and institutions to refuse to provide prescriptions for contraceptives and abortifacients without legal consequence.

This bill was Senate Bill 276 in the 2013-2014 session. Last session’s co-sponsors were: VOGEL, MENSCH, ALLOWAY, BROWNE,VULAKOVICH, FOLMER, RAFFERTY, HUTCHINSON, ERICKSON, WHITE and SCARNATI.

Introduced as SB292