This March the New Hampshire House will vote on a bill that would protect doctors who to refuse to provide an abortion, contraception, or sterilization.
A doctor would have the right to sue an employer, licensing board, or any other person or institution that discriminates against him or her for refusing to provide those reproductive health services.
The bill, HB 1787, would also cover other health care employees, such as nurses and pharmacists.
Arguments for a "right of conscience"
Bill supporters argue that HB 1787 is necessary to protect the religious freedom of health care providers. They argue that with a shortage of primary care physicians in the state, it is especially important to protect doctors and nurses from discrimination that might drive them out-of-state.
Supporters note that several other states, including Maine and Massachusetts, have similar laws.
Arguments HB 1787 is unjust
Bill opponents argue HB 1787 will invite too many lawsuits. For example, if an OB/GYN office refuses to hire a doctor that will not prescribe hormonal birth control, HB 1787 might give that doctor an opportunity to sue.
Other opponents argue that HB 1787 gives health care providers a route to unjustly discriminate against patients they do not want to treat.
Do you have an opinion on HB 1787? Share your thoughts in the comments below.