Michigan Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act (HB 4309)
This law was last updated on Nov 18, 2018
HB 4309 would allow health facilities and healthcare payers/purchasers to refrain from offering healthcare services and procedures based on moral or religious beliefs.
The bill would allow health facilities to decline to participate in a health care service that violates its “conscience.”
The bill would allow a health care payer to decline to offer a contract, policy, or product that pays for, arranges payment for, or facilitates the payment of a health care service that violates the conscience of the payer.
The bill would allow a health care purchaser may decline to purchase or financially contribute toward the purchase of a contract, policy, or product that includes coverage for a health care service that violates the conscience of the purchaser.
The bill defines “conscience” to mean:
“sincerely held convictions arising from a belief in God or the tenets of an established religion, or from the ethical or moral principles of a generally recognized philosophy or belief system that an individual asserting those convictions can reference as a basis for those convictions. For purposes of this act, the conscience of an entity shall be determined by reference to existing or proposed religious, moral, or ethical guidelines, mission statement, constitution, bylaws, articles of incorporation, or regulations adhered to by the entity.”
The bill specifies that a conscience objection can not be a cause for legal action. The bill further protects those that refuse to provide care by including rules against discriminating against them in employment and funding. Patients would also be responsible for paying for any service a health care payer refuses to pay for based on their conscience.
If passed, the vague language of the bill would not only harm women’s reproductive rights, but also allow healthcare practitioners, hospitals and insurers to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community.