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Iowa

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

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

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Individuals and hospitals that are not controlled, maintained, and supported by a public authority.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No individual who objects on the basis of religious beliefs or moral convictions may be required to participate in medical procedures that result in an abortion that does not constitute emergency medical treatment of a serious physical condition necessary to preserve the woman's life.  A person may not discriminate against any individual in any way, including employment, licensing, education, training, or granting of hospital privileges or staff appointments, for participating or refusing to participate in an abortion not necessary in an emergency to preserve the woman's life.

A hospital that is not controlled, maintained, and supported by a public authority may not be required to permit an abortion not necessary to preserve the woman's life.  The refusal of a non-public hospital to permit abortion may not be a basis for civil liability or other recriminatory action.

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

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  Yes, during emergency medical treatment of a serious physical condition necessary to preserve the woman's life.

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.

Iowa Code Ann. §§ 146.1, .2 (Enacted 1976).


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