Arkansas panel rejects health care religious objections bill

The bill has faced criticism for being discriminatory. File photo.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas House panel has rejected a measure that would have allowed hospitals and health care workers to refuse to treat patients based on religious or moral objections after it faced criticism that the move was unnecessary and discriminatory.

The measure failed before the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee on an 11-8 vote, and the lawmaker behind the measure said he hadn't ruled out trying again before the panel later.

The bill would have protected health care professionals, facilities and insurers if they declined to provide non-emergency treatment that would violate their conscience. Supporters said the measure was needed to protect the religious freedom of people working in health care.

The proposal was defeated two years after the Arkansas Legislature revised a religious objections law criticized as anti-gay.


By Andrew DeMillo. Copyright Associated Press - The Gayly 3/9/2017 @ 12:27 p.m. CST