clearn.png
Sunday May 9th, 2021 12:03AM

Arkansas governor signs medical conscience objections law

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday signed into law legislation allowing doctors to refuse to treat someone because of religious or moral objections, a move opponents have said will give providers broad powers to turn away LGBTQ patients and others.

The measure says health care workers and institutions have the right to not participate in non-emergency treatments that violate their conscience. The new law won't take effect until late this summer.

Opponents of the law, including the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, have said it will allow doctors to refuse to offer a host of services for LGBTQ patients. The state Chamber of Commerce also opposed the measure, saying it sends the wrong message about the state.

Hutchinson opposed a similar measure in 2017 that failed before a House committee. But he said the law he signed was narrower and limits the objections to particular health care services, not treating specific types of people.

“I support this right of conscience so long as emergency care is exempted and conscience objection cannot be used to deny general health service to any class of people," Hutchinson said in a statement released by his office. “Most importantly, the federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender, and national origin continue to apply to the delivery of health care services.”

Opponents have said types of health care that could be cut off include maintaining hormone treatments for transgender patients needing in-patient care for an infection, or grief counseling for a same-sex couple. They've also said it could also be used to refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control, or by physicians assistants to override patient directives on end of life care

“There is no sugarcoating this: this bill is another brazen attempt to make it easier to discriminate against people and deny Arkansans the health care services they need,” ACLU of Arkansas Executive Director Holly Dickson said in a statement. The ACLU did not say whether it planned any legal action to try and block the law before it takes effect.

The law is among several measures targeting transgender people that have easily advanced through the majority-Republican Legislature this year. Hutchinson on Thursday signed a law that will prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.

A final vote is scheduled Monday on another proposal that would prohibit gender confirming treatments and surgery for minors.

The Human Rights Campaign announced Friday that it would air a television ad in Arkansas during the Arkansas-Oral Roberts game in the NCAA Tournament on Saturday night denouncing measures such as the transgender athlete restrictions in Arkansas and other states.

“Trans kids are kids. They don't deserve this cruelty," the 30-second spot says.

The bills are advancing as a hate crimes measure backed by Hutchinson has stalled in the Legislature after facing resistance from conservatives. The bill would impose additional penalties for committing a crime against someone because of their characteristics, including their sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Health, AP Business
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Biden invites Russia, China to first global climate talks
President Joe Biden is including rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration, an event the U.S. hopes will help shape, speed up and deepen global efforts to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuel pollution, administration officials told The Associated Press
3:11PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fleetwood advances thanks to 2 great escapes
Tommy Fleetwood has made it to the weekend of the Dell Technologies Match Play thanks to two great escapes on the same hole to beat Bryson DeChambeau
3:10PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Report clears France of complicity in 1994 Rwandan Genocide
A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France’s role in 1994’s Rwandan genocide has concluded that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead
3:07PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pelosi taps DC National Guard head to lead House security
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard to be the House’s first African American sergeant-at-arms
1:49PM ( 1 hour ago )
Former Scottish leader launches new pro-independence party
Scotland’s former first minister, Alex Salmond, is making a return to frontline politics, announcing that he will lead a new pro-independence party that will field candidates in upcoming elections
11:59AM ( 3 hours ago )
GOP 2024 contenders enter Iowa, wary of Trump's long shadow
Ambitious Republicans are starting to make moves in Iowa, long a proving ground for future presidents
11:58AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
China sanctions Britons after UK joins EU move on Xinjiang
China has announced sanctions on British individuals and entities following the U.K.'s joining the EU and others in sanctioning Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region
5:49AM ( 9 hours ago )
China sanctions Britons after EU move on Xinjiang
China has announced sanctions on British individuals and entities following the U.K.'s joining the EU and others in sanctioning Chinese officials accused of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region
2:07AM ( 13 hours ago )
Voting rights, hate crimes on Senate's 'big, bold' agenda
Democrats are vowing action on several of their top priorities in April
12:36AM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
China outlines COVID-origin findings, ahead of WHO report
Chinese officials have briefed diplomats in Beijing on the research into the origin of COVID-19, ahead of the expected release of a long-awaited report from the World Health Organization
2:36PM ( 48 minutes ago )
The Latest: Cyprus reports "alarming" rise of variant cases
Cyprus’ Health Ministry says the spread of the U.K. variant of the coronavirus throughout the east Mediterranean island nation has marked an “alarming” increase, making up 95.5% of all new infections from Feb. 16 through Mar
2:13PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: WHO asking rich countries to donate 10M vaccines
The head of the World Health Organization is asking rich countries to donate at least 10 million coronavirus vaccines so the U.N. health agency can reach its goal of vaccination in all countries within the first 100 days of 2021
1:19PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Health
Trains crash in southern Egypt, killing at least 32
Authorities say two trains crashed in southern Egypt, killing at least 32 people and injuring 165 in the latest of a series of deadly crashes on the country’s troubled railways
2:33PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Stocks climb on Wall Street; S&P 500 on pace for weekly gain
Stocks rose in afternoon trading on Wall Street Friday, erasing the market’s losses from earlier in the week and setting the S&P 500 up to avoid a second straight weekly drop
2:18PM ( 1 hour ago )
Maritime traffic jam grows outside blocked Suez Canal
A maritime traffic jam grew to more than 200 vessels outside the Suez Canal and others began changing course as dredgers worked frantically to free a giant container ship that has been stuck sideways in the waterway and disrupted global shipping
2:08PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Biden invites Russia, China to first global climate talks
President Joe Biden is including rivals Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China among the invitees to the first big climate talks of his administration, an event the U.S. hopes will help shape, speed up and deepen global efforts to cut climate-wrecking fossil fuel pollution, administration officials told The Associated Press
3:11PM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Fleetwood advances thanks to 2 great escapes
Tommy Fleetwood has made it to the weekend of the Dell Technologies Match Play thanks to two great escapes on the same hole to beat Bryson DeChambeau
3:10PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Report clears France of complicity in 1994 Rwandan Genocide
A commission that spent nearly two years uncovering France’s role in 1994’s Rwandan genocide has concluded that the country reacted too slowly in appreciating the extent of the horror that left over 800,000 dead
3:07PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Myanmar protest deaths reach 320 as US, UK, impose sanctions
The number of protesters confirmed killed in Myanmar since last month’s military takeover has reached 320
3:06PM ( 17 minutes ago )
In likely California recall, energizing Latino voters is key
California Latinos, who have borne the brunt of pandemic deaths and job losses in the state, are a critical voting bloc for Gov. Gavin Newsom as he fights to save his political career
3:02PM ( 22 minutes ago )