NARAL Pro-Choice America

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Refusal to Provide Medical Services

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This election is going to come down to the wire. We can win this. But we need to know that you’ll be voting.

Tell Hulu: Stop Anti-Choice Censorship

Hulu has rejected (twice!) an ad that educates voters about an anti-abortion ballot measure in Colorado, saying it's "political" and "controversial." But they run political ads all the time! Sign our petition to stop the censorship.

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Stop Michael Boggs' Confirmation

Find out why we oppose the nomination of Georgia state appeals court judge Michael Boggs to the federal district court and see how you can speak out. Learn More »

Are health-care providers really allowed to refuse to provide medically necessary services?

YES. A number of state and federal laws include provisions known as “refusals,” which permit a broad range of individuals and institutions—including hospitals, health-care providers, pharmacists, employers, and insurance companies—to refuse to provide, pay for, counsel for, or even refer patients for medical treatment. Although carefully crafted refusal laws may be acceptable in some circumstances to protect individuals who oppose certain treatments, broad refusal laws deny women medically necessary information, referrals, and services. In addition, even if individual medical providers are protected, health-care corporations should not be allowed broadly to deny women access to necessary medical services and information.

Current State Laws

47 states and the District of Columbia allow certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide women specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals: AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY.

2013 Enacted State Legislation

4 states enacted 4 measures allowing certain laws that allow certain individuals or institutions to refuse to provide women specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals: KS, KY, MO, NC.

View a map of all states with Refusal to Provide Medical Services.

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