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Refusal to Provide Medical Services


Utah allows certain individuals or organizations to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Health-care facilities, including hospitals, hospices, nursing-care facilities, residential assisted-living facilities, birthing centers, ambulatory surgical facilities, and facilities owned or operated by health-maintenance organizations, as well as individuals associated with health-care facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? A health-care provider or organization may, on religious or moral grounds, refuse to provide or participate in abortion services, or refuse to admit a patient for abortion care.  The refusal to participate may not be a basis for damages, disciplinary action, or other recriminatory action. Moral or religious objections to abortion may not be a basis for discrimination in hiring in the state.

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 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.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-7-306 (Original Statute Enacted 1973; Repealed and Reenacted 1974; Last Amended 2011).

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