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Oregon

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

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

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Physicians, medical staff members, and hospitals. 

What does the refusal clause allow? No physician is required to participate in or give advice about abortion if he or she discloses this election to the patient. No hospital employee or medical staff member who notifies the hospital of an election against participating in abortion may be required to participate. No private hospital is required to admit a woman for the purpose of abortion. The refusal of a private hospital to participate in abortion, in accordance with a policy not to admit women for abortion, may not be a basis for civil liability where the hospital notifies the woman seeking admission of its policy. Public hospitals are not permitted to adopt policies of refusing admission to women seeking abortion services.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? Yes. Private hospitals must notify women seeking admission for abortion services of their policy. Physicians must disclose their refusal to the patient.

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.

Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 435.475, .485 (Enacted 1969; Last Amended 1983).

FAMILY-PLANNING REFUSAL CLAUSE

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

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Individuals and hospitals.

What does the refusal clause allow? Any employee of the Department of Human Services, who objects in writing on the basis of personal or religious beliefs, may refuse to offer family-planning services. A refusal may not be the basis for discrimination, discipline, or loss in pay or benefits.

Must the refusal be in writing? Yes.

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? 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 employee's immediate supervisor is authorized to make arrangements for eligible persons to obtain family-planning services from another employee.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 435.225 (Enacted 1967; Last Amended 1971)

INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR CONTRACEPTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Although Oregon law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception, certain employers and/or insurers may require that their plans exclude coverage for contraception.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Religious employers for whom contraceptive methods are contrary to their religious tenets.

What does the refusal clause allow? A religious employer may require issuers of its health-insurance plans to exclude coverage for contraception.

Is this refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? No.  The law carefully defines the term "religious employer" as a nonprofit organization that has the purpose of inculcating religious values and primarily employs and serves persons who share the religious tenets of the entity. This exemption appropriately applies to religious entities but not broad-based entities that operate in the public sphere.

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? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their employer exercises a refusal clause? No.

Or. Rev. Stat. § 750.055 (Enacted 1967; Last Amended 2012); Or. Rev. Stat. § 750.333 (Enacted 1993; Last Amended 2012).



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