Referred to Committee
March 31, 2011
March 29, 2011(Key vote)
Title: Freedom of Conscience Act
Vote Smart's Synopsis:
Vote to pass a bill that prohibits employers from disciplining or discriminating against employees who refuse to participate in procedures relating to embryonic tissue or a developing child in an artificial or natural womb, and limits the coverage of abortions in insurance plans.
Prohibits employers from disciplining or discriminating against an employee or potential employee who refuses to participate in any of the following activities (Sec. 1):
An experiment or medical procedure that destroys an in vitro human embryo or uses cells or tissue derived from the destruction of an in vitro human embryo; An experiment or medical procedure on an in vitro human embryo that is not related to the beneficial treatment of the in vitro human embryo;
An experiment or medical procedure on a developing child in an artificial or natural womb, at any stage of development, that is not related to the beneficial treatment of the developing child;
A procedure, including a transplant procedure, that uses fetal tissue or organs that come from a source other than a stillbirth or miscarriage; or
An act that intentionally causes or assists in causing the death of an individual.
Defines the term "participate in" as performing, practicing, engaging in, assisting in, recommending, counseling in favor of, making referrals for, prescribing, dispensing or administering drugs or devices, and otherwise promoting or encouraging any of the prohibited activities (Sec. 1).
Prohibits the state health exchange from requiring any insurance plan to cover any of the specified acts that are "contrary to its conscience" (Sec. 1).
Prohibits qualified health insurance plans offered through a state exchange created pursuant to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act from covering elective abortions (Sec. 3).
Prohibits any health plan, including health insurance contracts, plans, or policies offered outside of the exchange from covering elective abortions except by optional separate supplemental coverage for which there must be paid a separate premium (Sec. 3).
Defines "elective abortion" as an abortion for any reason other than to prevent the death of the mother (Sec. 3).