Guide to the Issues: The Right of Conscience for Health-Care Providers

Guide to the Issues: The Right of Conscience for Health-Care Providers

Over the last few decades—and especially the last eight years—the United States has witnessed a “sustained assault on religious liberty and the right of conscience.” A chief aim has been to force health-care providers, no matter their religious beliefs, to perform abortions. For pro-choice advocates, “whatever the value of religious freedom might be, it [can] easily be subjugated to a higher, more progressive, ideal.”

A right-of-conscience law is a statute that protects health-care providers who decline to perform health services that they find morally objectionable. Currently, Alabama does not have a right-of-conscience law. Legislation has been introduced in the Alabama Legislature that would change that.

This Guide explains the Health Care Rights of Conscience Act that has been introduced during the 2017 Regular Session of the Alabama Legislature.

Alabama should secure the right of conscience for health-care providers. With the “assault on religious liberty and the right of conscience” showing no signs of ending, the state needs a right-of-conscience law—now more than ever.