An argument over religious freedom has begun over a bill that would amend the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act. The bill doesn’t take away a medical provider’s right to refuse to provide certain treatment on religious grounds, but doctors and hospitals would have to have protocols in place to provide information about those treatment options and where a patient can receive them.
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State Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) believes this strikes a balance between patient safety and preserving the religious exemptions for medical providers. “That right to refuse should be in the law and it’s an appropriate First Amendment protection for providers,” Biss said,“but the Illinois protections, which go well beyond that into denial of information and referral and so forth, are out of line.”
Supporters of the bills deny claims that the law would require Catholic hospitals to publicly post information about abortion clinics.