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Georgia

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Georgia allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Individuals, hospitals, medical facilities, pharmacists or physicians.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No person who objects in writing on moral or religious grounds may be required to fill a prescription for a medication intended to cause an abortion or to participate in procedures that result in an abortion.  The refusal of a person to participate may not be a basis for a claim for damages or other recriminatory action.  In addition, no hospital, medical facility, or physician may be required to admit a woman for the purpose of providing abortion care.

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Ga. Code Ann. § 16-12-142 (Enacted 1968; Last Amended 2006).

FAMILY-PLANNING REFUSAL CLAUSE

Georgia allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide family-planning services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Employees of state agencies that administer family-planning services.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Any employee of a state agency that administers family-planning services, defined as family-planning counseling, information, and referrals, and the distribution of contraception, may refuse to accept the duty of offering such services where the duty is contrary to the employee's religious beliefs.  An employee's refusal to offer family-planning services shall not be grounds for any disciplinary action, dismissal, interdepartmental transfer, suspension, loss in pay, or any other discrimination in employment.  The director of the agency is, however, authorized to reassign the duties of the employee in order to provide family-planning services effectively.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for family-planning services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.  However, the director of an agency is authorized to reassign the duties of the employee in order to provide family-planning services effectively.

Ga. Code Ann. § 49-7-2, -6 (Enacted 1966).

PHARMACIST REFUSAL CLAUSE

Georgia allows pharmacists to refuse to fill or refill prescriptions.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Pharmacists.

What does the refusal clause allow?  It is not considered unprofessional conduct for any pharmacist to refuse to fill any prescription based on his or her moral beliefs.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for prescription services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Ga. Admin. Code § 480-5-.03. (Enacted 2001).

STERILIZATION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Georgia allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to perform or participate in sterilization procedures.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Hospitals, physicians, or any other person who is a member of or associated with the staff of a hospital, or any employee of a hospital.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No physician, or any other person who is a member of or associated with the staff or a hospital, or any employee of a hospital in which a sterilization procedure has been authorized, who objects on moral or religious grounds is required to participate in the medical procedures or the committee procedures leading to a sterilization procedure.  The refusal shall not be the basis of any claim for damages or for disciplinary or recriminatory action.  No hospital may be required to admit a patient for the purpose of performing a sterilization procedure.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for sterilizing procedures?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Ga. Code Ann. § 31-20-6 (Enacted 1970).


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