In 1973, the same year the Supreme Court changed abortion law in the U.S., Congress passed provisions collectively known as the Church Amendments to protect the conscience rights of workers and institutions in the healthcare industry (Federal Health Care Conscience Protection Statutes, 1973).

In 1977, Texas followed suit with its own conscience protections of health care workers regarding abortion.  Texas subsequently bolstered this conscience protection in 1999, passing additional legislation in the Occupations Code, underscoring the importance of the law.

These long-standing legal protections offer little value without awareness.  Supporting HB 1291/SB 573 raises awareness to protect individuals working within the healthcare industry from being illegally pressured or coerced in to providing or participating in an abortion procedure.

HB 1291/SB 573:

  • Requires hospitals and healthcare facilities to provide written notice that an individual has the legal right to refuse to perform or participate in an abortion procedure, raising awareness of all parties of the law;
  • Prohibits hospitals or healthcare facilities from discriminating against the individual for refusing to perform or participate in an abortion procedure;
  • Allows for potential remedy under Section 103.003 for a violation of an individual’s right to refuse to participate or perform an abortion procedure, consistent with current law.

References

  • Federal Health Care Conscience Protection Statutes 42 U.S.C. § 300a-7 (1973).
  • Right not to perform abortions. Vernon’s Civil Statutes Art. 4512.7. (1977).
  • Right to object to participation in abortion procedure. Texas Occupations Code § 103. (1999).