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Texas Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HB 2892)

This law was last updated on Aug 29, 2019


This law is Anti–Choice Anti–LGBTQ

State

Texas

Number

HB 2892

Status

Failed to Pass

Proposed

Mar 1, 2019

Topics

Anti-Transgender, Conscience and Refusal Clauses, LGBTQ, Religious Freedom

Full Bill Text

capitol.texas.gov

HB 2892 would permit a health-care provider to refuse to perform or participate in a health-care service that is contrary to their conscience.

The bill would prohibit a physician or health-care provider from being held civilly or criminally liable solely because of the physician’s or provider’s conscientious refusal of a health-care service.

The bill defines “conscience” to mean a sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from:

  • a belief in and relation to God;
  • a religious faith or spiritual practice; or
  • a moral philosophy or ethical position, without regard to whether the philosophy or position is related to a religious faith.

The bill defines “health-care service” to mean any phase of medical care or treatment, including:

  • testing, diagnosis, prognosis, ancillary research, instruction, medication, and surgery;
  • family planning, counseling, and referrals, and any other advice in connection with the use or procurement of contraceptives, sterilization, or abortion; and
  • any other care or treatment rendered by a health-care facility, physician, or health-care provider.

If passed, the broad language of the bill would potentially allow health-care providers to refuse to provide reproductive health-care services to women and pregnant people; and health-care services to the LGBTQ community, including transitioning treatment for transgender individuals.


Discrimination Related to Licensing

The bill would prohibit a person from discriminating against another person because of the person’s conscientious refusal of a health-care service, including discrimination with regard to:

  • licensing;
  • hiring, promoting, or transferring; and
  • granting of staff appointments or other privileges.

Discrimination Related to Employment

The bill would prohibit a person, medical institution, or other institution that conducts education or training programs for physicians or health-care providers from discriminating against an applicant because of the applicant’s conscientious refusal of a health-care service, including discrimination by:

  • denying employment, admission, or participation in a program for which an applicant is eligible;
  • referring to conscientious refusal in an application form;
  • questioning an applicant regarding the applicant’s conscientious refusal of a health-care service; and
  • imposing a burden in the terms or conditions of employment.

Discrimination Related to Benefits

The bill would prohibit a person, including a public official, from discriminating against a recipient entitled to any type of aid, assistance, or benefits because of the recipient’s conscientious refusal of a health-care service, including discrimination by:

  • denying aid, assistance, or benefits;
  • conditioning receipt of the aid, assistance, or benefits; or
  • coercing or disqualifying the recipient.

Conscientious Refusal Protocol

The bill would require health-care facilities to develop a protocol describing a patient’s access to care and information to ensure that a conscientious refusal of a health-care service does not impair a patient’s health. Such protocol must—at a minimum—require a health-care facility, physician, or provider to:

  • timely inform a patient of the patient ’s condition, prognosis, legal treatment options, and risks and benefits of treatment options, consistent with accepted standards of medical care; and
  • provide copies of the patient’s medical records to the patient or to another health-care facility, physician, or provider, if requested; and
  • take any other action necessary to transfer the patient to another health-care facility.

The bill would not require a health-care facility, physician, or provider to counsel a patient regarding a service that is contrary to their conscientious beliefs.


Related Legislation

Companion bill to SB 1107.

Similar to HB 2878, which failed to pass in 2017.


Latest Action

2/26/19 – Introduced.


People