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Refusal to Provide Medical Services


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

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Physicians, nurses, staff members, or employees of a hospital or health-care facility, or private hospitals, or health-care facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? No physician, nurse, staff member, or employee of a hospital or health-care facility, who objects to participating directly or indirectly in abortion care, may be required to do so. The refusal or willingness may not be a basis for discrimination in employment or education. A person whose rights are violated may bring an action for relief, including back pay and reinstatement. No private hospital or health-care facility may be required to make its facilities available for abortion services unless a physician determines that the woman's life is immediately endangered.

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, in emergency situations no private hospital or health-care facility may refuse admittance.

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.

Tex. Occ. Code Ann. §§ 103.001 to .004 (Enacted 1977; Last Amended 1999).

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