California’s Attorney General has barred state employees from traveling to Ohio using taxpayer dollars over its enactment of a law that he characterized as “anti-LBGTQ+.”
California’s Democrat Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Friday that beginning on Sept. 30, “California will restrict state-funded travel to Ohio as a result of new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation recently enacted in the state.”
In a statement, Bonta’s office alleged that provisions in Ohio House Bill 110 “will allow medical providers in the state to deny care to LGBTQ+ Americans, including Californians traveling in Ohio.”
House Bill 110, the state’s budget for fiscal years 2022 and 2023, contains the Medical Ethics and Diversity Act.
The legislation, which Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law earlier this year, includes a provision declaring that “a medical practitioner, health care institution, or health care payer has the freedom to decline to perform, participate in, or pay for any health care service which violates the practitioner’s, institution’s, or payer’s conscience as informed by the moral, ethical, or religious beliefs or principles held by the practitioner, institution, or payer.”
The bill noted that the “exercise of the right of conscience is limited to conscience-based objections to a particular health care service.”
While House Bill 110 did not give specific examples of a “health care service” that might violate a medical practitioner’s conscience, the Center for Christian Virtue, a socially conservative advocacy organization that supported the legislation, elaborated on its implications.
In a blog post, the advocacy group contends that the law “ensures doctors and medical professionals cannot be forced to perform medical procedures that violate their conscience or religious beliefs.”
“This means, for instance, that doctors cannot be forced to perform abortions or prescribe dangerous puberty-blocking drugs to children for ‘gender transitioning’ if doing so goes against their conscience,” the blog post states.
“It also allows insurance companies to create insurance plans for organizations and businesses in line with their religious beliefs, resolving the issue an order of nuns called The Little Sisters of the Poor have faced for writing a plan that didn’t include abortion coverage.”
While the Center for Christian Virtue praised the MED Act for protecting the “religious freedom of medical professionals,” the law’s approval did not sit well with California’s top law enforcement official.
“Blocking access to life-saving care is wrong. Period,” Bonta said. “Whether it’s denying a prescription for medication that prevents the spread of HIV, refusing to provide gender-affirming care, or undermining a woman’s right to choose, HB 110 unnecessarily puts the health of Americans at risk.”
Full story at Christian Post.